Hearing Ears

December 26, 2020

He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:9).

Can you remember a time when someone said to you, "Are you listening to me?" Maybe they were stressing something they felt was important but they thought you we weren't really paying attention. Maybe you were the one asking the question to someone who wasn't paying attention to you!

This is not the first or only time Jesus used the phrase He who has hears to hear, let him hear. To us it seems 'a no brainer' since ears are meant to hear. But even if someone does hear what is being said, it doesn't mean he understands what is being said. And that was the point Jesus was making to the people who heard Him teach. 

There are many things in the Bible that are clear to us. There are other things in Scripture that are difficult to understand, such as Matthew 5:30, And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. Did Jesus mean this literally or figuratively? If He meant it literally, then do we do the same thing with lips, eyes, and ears that sin? If He meant it figuratively, then how are we to understand and apply such teaching?

Jesus calls us to pay attention when He speaks to us through His Word. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Since the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Scriptures, we should ask Him to help us understand the Scriptures.

B. H. Carroll said the Bible is its own best interpreter. God always explains what He says by direct instruction, example, circumstances, etc. In the case of The Parable of the Sower, Jesus directly explained what He meant by the parable (see vv.10-23). Why are we commanded to Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12)? The example of Absalom, King David's son (2 Samuel 15 - 18) explains why. Why are we commanded, You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:15-16)? The example of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) explains why.

Jesus calls all of us to “Pay attention” to what He says. His words are truth and are of benefit to all who hear, understand, and apply His words in our everyday lives.

"Father, Your Word is truth. At times Your Word is not easy to understand or apply, but I thank You that You have sent the Holy Spirit to help me understanding and do what You have taught in Your Word. Give me patience to wait upon You so that I may be clear in what You have said. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen."


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