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“He Who Has Ears, Let Him Hear”

What does it mean to hear the teachings of Jesus?In Matthew 11:15 and other passages Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” What does it mean to hear the teachings of Jesus?

What should we learn from Jesus’ statement that those who have ears to hear, should hear?

Listen Carefully to Jesus’ Teaching.

Those who have ears to hear must listen to the gospel of Jesus.

The only way to be saved is to learn what the gospel says about salvation.

John 6:44,45 – In order to come to Jesus each person must be taught. We must hear and learn from the Father.

Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

God has never taught the conditions of salvation to any lost sinner by a direct revelation from the Holy Spirit or by acting directly on the sinner’s heart apart from the word. God decreed that people learn the truth by being taught the inspired message of the gospel given by inspired men.

This means that people must have “ears to hear”: honest hearts that are willing to consider Bible teaching.

But some who hear the teaching will resist it.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 – Some do not believe the truth, because they don’t love the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness. The gospel is designed so that such people will reject the truth. Note that people reject the gospel, not because it is not true and not because there is no adequate evidence for it, but because of attitude problems in people’s hearts.

Other people attend church meetings but still do not listen. Instead they daydream or worse yet visit with their neighbors and distract others.

What is your attitude toward gospel truth? Will you reject it because you are too much involved in things that please you? Or are you willing to listen and carefully consider, even when it contradicts your former ideas?

Understand with an Honest Heart.

Having ears to hear also requires us to sincerely seek to understand the message.

Matthew 13:23 – In the parable of the sower, the good soil represents those who hear and understand the word and bring forth good fruit.

Yet some resist the gospel when they hear it so they do not understand.

Matthew 13:13-16 – Some hear but don’t understand because they close their ears and harden their hearts. Many do not want to deny their own desires, change their way of living, or sacrifice their will to serve God. These will reject the teaching, and may not even understand it.

In which category are you and I?

Respond properly: Believe and obey.

Having ears to hear also means we must be willing to accept and obey the message.

2 Kings 17:13-15 – God rebuked Israel because they would not hear His law, but stiffened their necks and rejected His statutes, etc. They had been told God’s word by the prophets, but simply would not obey.

Luke 11:28 – “…blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Matthew 13:23 – The good soil refers to those who hear and understand the word and bear fruit (do the good works God requires).

Again, some people reject the message and refuse to obey.

Luke 6:46-49 – Those who hear and obey Jesus’ word are like a wise builder, whose house survives the storm because it is built on a good foundation. Those who hear but don’t obey are building on the sand. Which one are you?

James 1:22-25 – If we do not do what the word says, we are like a man who looks in a mirror but does nothing about the problems he sees in his appearance. What good does it do to look, if we do not correct the faults we find?

God created His word to produce understanding, faith, and obedience in the lives of those who have receptive hearts. But He also created each person with the power to choose. The gospel does not violate that power; it appeals to it. God designed the word to attract those who have open hearts but to repel those who are determined to continue in sin.

In which category are you and I?


Revelation 3:20 – Jesus died for us, and now He stands at the door of our hearts knocking. He asks you to receive Him and the salvation He offers. But He will not force His way in. You must make the choice to hear His voice and open the door. You do this by believing in Jesus, repenting of sins, confessing Jesus, and being baptized. Then you must continue to live a faithful life.

The choice is yours. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Click here to study a more detailed discussion about learning God's word.

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019;

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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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