‘He who has ears, let him hear.’
I always thought that was an interesting statement made by Jesus. I have ears. Doesn’t everyone? I don’t think I know of anyone who doesn’t have ears. I guess some people are deaf, which is something my dad would accuse me of being.
In my more dense moments as a child, my dad would also accuse me of lacking for brains. Apparently there was this assembly line for handing out brains. He may have insinuated that I heard 'train' and assumed I was going on a trip somewhere. He also said I had a brain like a strainer, which I didn’t get for the longest time, but that may have been proving his point.
Before you think my dad unkind, let me assure you I am glad he said stuff like this to me. Otherwise I might not have anything to say to my kids when I am most dumbstruck by some of the things they do.
But what’s most interesting to me is where I recently found a similar line from Jesus regarding the having of ears. To be sure, he said it a few times as He preached. But in this one instance, He said it after explaining a parable. All my dad wanted was for me to understand the words coming out of his mouth. I imagine God wants us to understand His Word, and His heart, as well.
Perhaps you are like me and have laughed along with pastors as they talk about how dumb the disciples seemed at times. They could often be seen arguing about who was the greatest, or getting scared out of their mind, all while in the presence of Jesus. Or they would ask questions that we would know better than to ask God.
At times they would just come right out and tell Jesus they had no idea what He was talking about. It had to be a real face-palm moment for the Son of God. But the disciples would be honest and ask for explanations. One example is recorded in Matthew 13:36-43, where Jesus does explain the Parable of the Weeds. And Jesus ends it with, ‘He who has ears, let him hear.’
I get that Jesus is talking about understanding, something He also compares with our eyesight. ‘Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?’ (Mark 8:18). The great irony is we can have working eyes and ears and yet fail to understand the bigger picture of what God is accomplishing.
If the great irony is having the correct equipment without the ability to use it, the great shock would be to not even comprehend the answer when it is explained to us.