“For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them” (Acts 28.27 ESV).
After many trials, Paul finally makes it to Rome. He is still under arrest, but the authorities allow him to discuss the Good News of Jesus to the local Jewish leaders. Some of the people believed the Gospel, but others would not believe the Truth. As these unbelievers left, Paul quoted a verse from Isaiah about the hardened hearts and clogged ears of the people. God wanted to bring healing to His people, but they would not receive it from Him. The time of grace was at hand, but the leaders had twisted the laws to fit their agenda, and they didn’t want to let go of their authority. They’ve allowed their hearts to become dull, and have chosen to take their ears and eyes off of eternity, busying themselves with worldly understanding, prestige and opinion. The Truth of Jesus Christ is the Truth no matter if we want to perceive it or not. People do not want to turn from their selfish ways and desires, so they make a choice to ignore God or they try to control His presence in their lives. Either way, they will not receive the fullness of His grace and blessings. It is our choice. God will not force His goodness on us. We must receive it. The only way for our eyes and ears to be open is to be completely surrendered to God and submitted to His Truth.
“Harden the hearts of these people. Plug their ears and shut their eyes. That way, they will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts and turn to me for healing” (Isaiah 6.10 NLT).