Inspiration – He who has ears!

Rev. Terry Goerz,
Redeemer Lutheran Church.

There is a concept I would like to look at today. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus concludes with the words “He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:9)

What I would like us to see is that with these words Jesus is indicating that what He has just said is a message for Christians.

Now, I cannot take you to a verse that definitely declares that in these words Jesus has a message for Christian ears, but you can tell from the context where these words are used in the New Testament that the content of what is being explained is for Christian ears in all ages.

Matthew tells us that Jesus is in a boat at the lake – we assume the Sea of Galilee – and he is telling a large audience “many things in parables”. After leaving the lake and returning to the house He is staying at, His disciples ask Jesus why he speaks to the people in parables.

“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” (Matthew 13: 15-16)

The Jewish people as a whole did not accept the message of Jesus and as in this quote He often calls them blind or deaf.

But to His followers He says they are blessed because they have eyes that see and ears that hear.

So when He says, “he who has ears let him hear” He is saying that what He is saying is for those who have ears, who are His followers.

When we see these words in the Bible we should understand that Jesus is reaching across the ages to tell us something that is to be heard by Christians of all ages.

For example, Jesus again uses these words in the Parable of the Lamp:

“Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4: 21-23)

It is Christians whom Jesus is telling to let their light shine, not to hide it under a bowl or bed. Jesus uses these words three other times in the Gospels. Once where He declares that John the Baptist was the Elijah to come, once in the parable of the cost of being a disciple, and once where He explains the parable of the weeds to His disciples.

Then again in the book of Revelation, Jesus uses these words again speaking through John, the human author of the book of Revelation. In the beginning of Revelation there are seven letters to the angels of seven churches. In the letters Jesus warns of seven deadly sins that Satan will try to bring on Christians. At the end of each letter Jesus concludes with a promised reward for those Christians who overcome and these words we have been exploring.

For instance, in the letter to Ephesus it concludes, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)

Those who overcome are Christians. From this we know that the book of Revelation was written to Christians, not to the whole world.

Later in Revelation 13, Jesus reveals that a time of sever testing will come on all Christians that includes for some captivity and death:

“All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.” (Revelation 13: 5-9)

Those whose names are written in the book of life belonging to the lamb, that is Jesus, are Christians and so are “the saints”. They are the ones with ears that hear.

Whenever we see these words, “He who has an ear, let him hear” in the New Testament we should understand that Jesus is reaching across the ages to tell us something that is to be heard by Christians of all ages – even today!

Blessings!

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