Mark 4:1-9 ESV – Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.“
Here’s the tricky thing – no one understood Jesus. At least, if anyone did, it’s not recorded. What we do know from the following verses is that the disciples asked Him to explain Himself. So, I don’t think it’s a stretch to infer that if the guys who had been spending every waking moment with Jesus needed an explanation, so did everyone else. But not everyone got one – only the disciples.
What’s interesting to me is Jesus’ command to all the people: Listen! It’s not a suggestion. Yet they couldn’t get it. Then He ends with a correlating statement: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” I think it’s safe to say that Jesus wasn’t talking about physical ears to hear, but some other kind. Spiritual ears, perhaps.
Here are my questions for today:
- What’s the difference between “listening” to Jesus and “hearing” what He said, if any?
- Do we have ears to hear? Can we listen?
- What has He said to you, recently?