People have ears for many different things. What one has ears for, is what one it attuned to, or pays attention to. Christ is looking for souls that have ears to hear the Word of God.
“And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables…And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4: 1, 2, 9
Jesus did not present the gospel to this multitude of people, in a super easy format. Instead, he told a parable. A parable is a story with a moral or a principal being taught. It needs to be deciphered. Why did Jesus teach in parables?
“And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Mark 4: 10-12
Jesus was not just excluding some, because he said in verse 9 “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Those that really had ears to hear, or, in other words, those that truly had a heart to understand the will of God were the ones that he said, “unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God.” They had ears to hear, which is shown by them coming to Jesus and asking what the lesson meant.
Jesus told us, “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you…” and then God says in Jeremiah 29: 13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” These disciples came to Jesus and asked; they wanted to understand, and Jesus explained. They desired to hear and they acclimated their ears to hear the pure words of Jesus.
When you are looking for God with an honest and true heart as in the parable above, you will have ears to hear- you will be attuned to the things of God.
But many people, oh so very many people, are not attuned to the word of God- which is Jesus Christ. They have other things that are more interesting to them; Things that their hearts desire. And so, they only tune in to what they like and they tune back out when it doesn’t fit their personal religion or agenda for life. They are not seeking God with all their heart.
Some came to Jesus questioning His teachings, but not because they believed in him, or sincerely wanted to understand. They simply wanted to argue and disprove his words and undermine his authority.
And is that not how it still is today? People have ears, but they will not listen to the truth. They tune it out, and attune themselves to something else. They find other religions, or even create their own religion and call it Christian; But they are not following Christ, they are following their own heart. Many are fighting today to discredit the Lord Jesus Christ. Many are trying to lump him in with all the other religions of the world. But it will never happen.
If we want to really know the Lord Jesus Christ, and truly understand the truth, we need to begin with our heart. We need to bring our heart to God and ask Him, by the power of the cross of Christ, to cleanse it and to give us a new heart. Only then will we be enabled to acclimate our ears to God and His Son Jesus Christ. Our ears need to be opened to His truth.
“lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” -or unless at anytime they should turn from sin- repent; Then their sins would be forgiven; Then they will be able to hear.
Too many just have ears for what they want to hear; If it doesn’t fit into their repertoire of what is acceptable, they just ignore it or discredit it.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
They don’t want the truth, or sound doctrine; They have “itching ears.” They are wanting to hear something alright- they are interested in hearing the newest philosophy or fable; they want to feel “enlightened” but only if it makes them feel good- they itch for someone to tell them what they want to hear- and turn to other Gods and lies, allowing themselves to be deceived. What a sad picture. How careful we must be.
The wisest man that ever lived became wise because he had ears to hear the word of God and a heart towards the one and only true God. King Solomon began with the truth, but, ended with a lost soul because he let the influence of the world around him turn away his ears from the truth and he turned to the many fables and false beliefs of the world.
Jesus said, “blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28
Its not enough to just hear something. Putting it into practice, is what differentiates the one that has ears to hear and the one who does not.