My hands have become soft! Before I retired I used all sorts of hand tools, screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, and occasionally a shovel or spade. My hands were calloused. The places on my palms and fingers that received the greatest friction most often became covered with a tough, thick layer of skin, and it wasn’t necessary to wear gloves except in the most strenuous work.

Callouses can be a good thing depending on where they grow, but a heart calloused against God’s Word is never a good thing.

In Matthew 13, the disciples asked Jesus why He taught in parables. He replied:

13This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.  15For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ (Isaiah 6)

The Apostle Paul was in Rome, having arrived there while under arrest, but allowed to rent his own house to live in with a Roman guard assigned to him. (Acts 28) For two years Paul lived in his rented house, preaching and teaching to all who would listen.

After calling the local Jewish leaders to meet with him, they did so. They had not heard anything about him, neither good nor bad, and wanted to learn from him his views.

23They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. 24Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.

They disagreed among themselves when Paul, after quoting the same prophecy of Isaiah chapter 6, said:

28“Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” 29And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

Their hearts had become calloused. Some refused to believe God had also provided a way of salvation for the Gentiles. Paul said:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

Shed the callouses of your heart. Open your ears to God’s Word, and open your eyes to the sacrifice of His Son and the forgiveness, grace, and mercy He has provided to all who believe on Him.

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