When Jesus Says Listen

 Listen!… He who has ears to hear, let him hear.       Mark 4:3, 9

In the Gospels and in the letters to the churches in the Book of Revelation, the phrase “ears to hear” is used regularly.  The familiar story of the sower and the seed in Mark’s gospel begins with Jesus saying, “Listen.” How often do you listen without listening or hear without really hearing?  

When Jesus taught this parable, he was at the Sea of Galilee. There were distractions… the sound of the waves lapping against the shore, the shout of fishermen out on the water hauling in a catch, maybe the whirring of birds or insects, or the sounds made by the breeze. The eyes of His audience may have been distracted by the rocking of the boat Jesus was in or activities along the water’s edge. Other senses might have been distracted by smells, the touch of a neighbor, the flavor of the sea air.

Active listening is a skill that requires total sensory attention to the speaker, understanding what is being said, reflecting on what is being said, and having a response. Active listening also includes retaining the information for some future purpose.  Jesus probably said, “Listen,” because He knew the people and, even though His illustrations were simple, they may not understand. Many were less concerned with what He had to say and more interested in seeing a miracle of some sort.  

How do you respond when Jesus says, “Listen.” Are you open to new information and a new understanding? Do you reflect on what He has told you? Are you learning something you can put into practice? Or are you like the good soil in the parable of the sower, where the seed grows and is productive?  

Pray today for ears to truly hear. Pray for those in government whose hearts have hardened to the Word of God, that they might have their ears opened to receive His truth. 

Today’s Verse: Mark 4:3, 9

And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended for further reading: Mark 4:1-9

4 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. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 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. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” 

All Scripture quotations and audio are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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