HE WHO HAS AN EAR
The intent of this study is to understand the phrase often spoken by Jesus, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear". Our objective is to understand who Jesus is speaking to.
To cover all our bases for whomever may read this study, we will try to understand this literally, then spiritualy, to see which way the Bible agrees with.
If we are to understand this phrase literally, then Jesus was speaking to everyone who physicaly had ears and was physicaly able to hear, this would include his diciples, followers and even the pharisees whom did not believe on Him. If this understanding is correct, then everything in the Bible should agree.
Now, let's take a look at this phrase and the context in which it it is found:
3 And he spake many things unto them in PARABLES, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;…..
Jesus is about to speak a parable to the multitudes around Him.
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 WHO HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.
At the end of the parable Jesus makes the statement, "who hath ears to hear, let him hear". Again, as we look at this literaly, there does not seem to be a problem yet. Let's continue.
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Here we have a VERY interesting question posed by the disciples? They wanted to know WHY was Jesus speaking to the multitudes in PARABLES. At this point, in order to have complete understanding, we must search the Bible to define what exactly a parable is.
30 And he said, Whereunto shall we LIKEN the kingdom of God? or with what COMPARISON shall we compare it? 31 It is LIKE a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
33 And with many such PARABLES spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
In Mk 4:30, we see Jesus speaking in a parable by using something earthly to COMPARE to something spiritual.
In other words, instead of Jesus speaking PLAINLY to the multitudes he uses plain WORDS (mustard seed, sown in the earth), but those plain words are not the real meaning of his teaching. Therefore we can understand a parable to mean an earthly story with a spiritual meaning.
Now back to the disciples question, "Why speakest thou unto them in parables?". There was a reason Jesus decided to speak this way.
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is GIVEN UNTO YOU to know the MYSTERIES of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is NOT GIVEN.
The word "given" is Strong's # G1325 and it is also translated as the word "grant". God has granted his children to know, to understand the MYSTERIES of the kingdom of God as He enables us to understand them. The unsaved in whom the Spirit of God does not dwell have not been granted to know, to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God.
3 The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:4 Yet the Lord hath not GIVEN you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.
The Bible gives us further confirmation of this truth, that God is the one who grants his children the ability to hear his words and understand his spiritual truth.
11 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:12 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.
Notice first that the word "THESE" is not in the original text, so the last part of verse 11 is not speaking of SPECIFIC things but rather ALL THINGS. "….. but unto them that are without, ALL THINGS are done in parables".
This agrees with another verse we find in the Bible regarding parables.
34 But WITHOUT A PARABLE SPAKE HE NOT unto them:and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
This verse assures us that Jesus (the Word of God) did NOT speak without a parable.
Jesus explains further than not only has it not been granted to the unsaved to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but that although they can see (physicaly) everything that Jesus does in the form of miracles, they still don't understand the meaning or purpose behind it. Likewise when they HEAR Jesus physicaly speaking with normal earthly words, they don't understand the meaning behind the words. But who can?
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see:and your ears, for they hear.
Jesus tells us that it is HIS children who can hear and who can see, not just physicaly like the pharisees but spiritualy. They understand what the meaning behind the words are and what the meaning behind the deeds are (Once the Word of God explains it the them).
Now we must return to our original question, who is Jesus speaking to when He says, "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear". Mt 13:9
He can only be speaking to His children, the elect of God who have recieved spiritual ears to hear spiritual truths as God allows. The litteral interpretation of this phrase does not harmonize with the rest of the Bible, it is only when we understand this phrase spiritualy that it harmonizes with the Bible. Even the very phrase "ears to hear" is a parable.
He who hath ears to hear, let him hear.