Question: Hi! I’m 12 years old. I live in Minnesota. I am using an NIV Bible and I have a question that is confusing to me. What do Matthew 13:10-17, Mark 4:10-12; Luke 8:9-10 & Isaiah 6:9-10 mean?
Answer: This is a great question for someone who is 12! The three New Testament passages you have quoted are parallel passages from the Synoptic Gospels. In other words, they are not different instances; but tell about the same thing. Matthew, Mark, Luke are the Synoptic Gospels. "Synoptic" means "view together." They all viewed the life and ministry of Christ; but each brought out different things. Put them all together and you get the total picture! That's the greatest proof these Gospels were inspired by God, we know they didn't copy from each other,
Of these three passages, Matthew is the most informative. I think what is troubling you is that you are thinking Christ was telling the disciples the "good stuff"; and withholding it from everyone else. This is not so. The people didn't really want to hear what He had to say. The answer is in Verse 15,
"...their eyes THEY have closed, lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand..."
Christ wanted to tell all the Jews that He was their Messiah, here to be crucified for sin, resurrected, AND set the Kingdom up that they had heard about for hundreds of years. John 1:11 tells us,
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not."
The Jews didn't want to hear it. Christ didn't hold anything back from them. They closed their own eyes and ears.
Matthew 13:16 says,
"...blessed are your eyes, for they shall see: and your ears, for they hear."
...not because they were better than everyone else; but because they WANTED to see and hear. If people want to do God's will, God will always see that they hear what it is. (John 7:16.17). Read about the Gentile, Cornelius, in Acts 10. He was a good man, but lost. He wanted to know how to be saved and God sent the Apostle Peter right to him.
Matthew 13:14,15 (and the others you ask about) are quoting the passage from Isaiah. This was a time in the history of the nation of Israel when they were doing the same thing as the Jews of Christ's day. God was having the prophet, Isaiah, tell them to "clean up their act"; or the Babylonians were going to come and there was going to be a 70-year captivity. Did they listen? No! They kept right on breaking God's laws of the Sabbath and sacrifice. In fact, God had sent many prophets to warn what would happen if they did this, even from the time of Moses. And, sure enough, the captivity happened! Since that time, Israel has not been the great nation she was before the captivity.
The Jews of Christ's day did not accept their Messiah; and, in 70 A.D., Titus and the Roman army came in and destroyed their beautiful city and temple. This is a good example of why we should always believe what God says.
I want to say that I do not recommend the NIV. Do you know it has 64,000 words missing? The King James Translation is, by far, the best we have today from the original manuscripts. I would suggest that you get a King James Translation to compare with when you use your NIV. The NIV is the worst imitation of a Bible; as many verses have been eliminated from it.