10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.”
This verse displays the ultimate blindness to grace.
10 Let their eyes be darkened,
Israel as a nation was blinded to the truth. “Darkened” carries the idea of being blacked to the point of ineptness. The Israelites lost their capacity to accept God’s grace in any sense.
1 Jn 2: 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
so that they do not see,
Their negative volition was now full—they could not see God’s truth at all.
And bow down their back always [continuously].”
Rejection of God’s truth caused Israel’s back to bow. They would be like captives whose backs bowed down with burden. Non-believers must bear the burden of rejection of God’s plan.
David asked God in Psalm 69 to pronounce a curse on Israel. The argument from 11:1 is whether God has rejected His people. It is obvious, then, that He has not rejected all His people but only those who carry an embedded negative attitude toward salvation by grace.
Catastrophe is inevitable for those who reject the principle of grace.
When people enter a state of stupor, they do not have the ability to discern truth. That is why people do not accept Christ as their Savior.
Jesus’ reference to Isaiah 6:9-10 gives us an insight into God’s hardening process. When Isaiah inquired as to how long the hardening of Israel would last, God said it would continue until the land was utterly forsaken and there was nothing but a “stump” left in the land (Isa 6:11-13).
That “stump” would be a “holy seed” that would grow anew. Jesus, referring to this passage, said the Israel of His day was calloused in attitude toward the Messiah (Mt 13:15). They had the capacity to understand but they refused to recognize the Savior.
Jesus spoke in parables because people were not open to truth. A person with openness to truth would grasp the meaning of the parable. Spiritual hunger and positive volition toward God’s Word is the starting point of accepting the grace principle.
On the other hand, cares of the world and Satan can snatch the “seed” in the parable of Matthew 13 from people with no openness to the gospel. If you are deceived, you do not know you are deceived. It takes openness to God’s drawing conviction to take the blinders off. It is at that point that God will take the spiritual blinders off and remove the callous.
Jesus said something in the parable of the sower that He said of no other parable. He affirmed in effect that if we do not understand the meaning of the parable to the sower, then we cannot understand any other parable.
Mark 4: 13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
The point Jesus made is that the way spiritual truth is received is the key to understanding and apprehending salvation by grace. People receive truth in direct correlation to the condition of their attitude toward truth.
Luke 8: 15 But the ones [seed] that fell on the good ground [receptive attitude toward truth] are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
Jesus’ point in the parable of the sower was to demonstrate that it was God’s design for Israel to see and hear and understand with their hearts (Isa 6:10). But if they persisted in their hard attitude, then Jesus would speak in parables so as to not give any further revelation. There is danger in going negative toward God because it will produce more destructive attitudes toward Him.