What is meant by keeping people blind and deaf so as not to get healed? [see footnote regarding answers]
I understand this to be one of those scriptures that is meant to challenge our understanding, such as "drink my blood and eat my flesh"...yet I still can't see the purpose behind these words:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10, Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.[a] Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,
“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]”
13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
What is meant by keeping people blind and deaf so as not to get healed?
I've reopened the bounty. The entire bible is encoded in parables, and Isaiah 6 eludes to what the purpose of encryption-through-symbolism is needed in the word. Jesus applies it, but does not explain it's full necessity, and why it must be that way.
So we ask again - what is the meaning of "Keeping people blind and deaf so as not to get healed?" a concept which contradicts the idea "I want to, be made clean...".
In spirit this concept contradicts the nature of God, who wants to heal and restore. Yet this says "Make it so that cannot happen". To a Christian, one would be confused the same as Jesus Jewish audience when he said "Drink my blood"...something that seemingly contradicted their law.
Hence we seek to explain the mystery and remove the supposed contradiction.
This mystery is so important to me I'd happily keep reopening the bounty, using up my points, until a conclusively accurate answer is given.
Of the answers given, three authors gave appropriate and correct answers from different angles, thus giving a very good understanding of the possible answer to this question.
@ShemSeger's answer was the first comprehensive one given, helping to understand the purpose behind the veiling of scriptures as it pertains to our human accountability. See the first paragraph see his heading "Understanding Parables". This was auto-awarded a bounty due to votes because I had sought more explanation on the issue. This answer, though, certainly gives a glimpse into what it means for our personal welfare.
@Trober's answer gives a very in-depth look at how this mystery pertains to God's justice and mercy, essentially giving everyone a chance to benefit equally at the right time from God's efforts to save and heal humankind. His answer addresses the answer from a prophetic aspect, citing very, very good examples in the scriptures to which this question pertains.
@Andrew's answer relies completely in the scriptures, and in it's own right very complete and elegant. It would have been assigned the "bounty" points, except many who are not trained in the scriptures might not see how these scriptures relate, although his outline is very authoritative.
Thus Trober's answer is given the bounty for the most harmonious and well explained answer. ShemSeger's answer elaborates greatly on our own responsibility, and its meaning to individuals. Andrew's answer solidifies these things with well chosen supporting scriptures.
The complementary nature of these answers reminds me of this scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31