Matthew 13:12—Is God unfair in giving to those who have?

Problem: God is presented in the Bible as fair and evenhanded (Rom. 2:11; Gen. 18:25). Jesus, as God incarnate, is set up as the perfect moral example (Heb. 4:15). However, in this passage Jesus said we should take away from “whoever does not have” and give to “whoever has.” What could be more unfair?

Solution: “Give to him who has and take from him who has not” is a proverbial saying used by Jesus in this context to mean that when Jesus spoke in parables (Matt. 13:10), the result was that those who thought they had some insight into the kingdom had less because they were more confused. Their unbelief caused their confusion, so that “seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear” (v.13). On the other hand, those who received Jesus’ words (namely, His disciples) had even a greater understanding than before.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.