Jesus was a master teacher. Even skeptics who don't believe in His divinity will often say they like His teaching. But Jesus was more than a good teacher and the people were often in awe because He taught with such authority. It was as though God Himself was speaking to them and revealing deep, spiritual truths.
One way Jesus did this was by using parables depicting common, everyday events. For instance, He told a story of a woman baking leavened bread to describe how the kingdom of God expands. While the parables used familiar imagery for teaching the masses, the disciples often asked for further explanation once they were alone with Jesus. Parables made those who had ears to hear want to learn more.
The Old Testament prophets used the same principle. They often spoke in riddles or images in order to convey the word of the Lord. Those with ears to hear and hearts to receive were warned of dangers and given direction through the prophets. But those whose hearts were hardened by sin could not—or would not—understand.
And so it was with Jesus' parables. Some people received and others were left confused. Their response revealed whether their hearts hungered for greater understanding or were hardened and self-righteous.
Do you have ears to hear and a hunger to understand? If not, ask the Holy Spirit to help you and open your heart to understand and receive. We too need the Holy Spirit's help to understand all Jesus taught and what He did for us. When Peter declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, Jesus told him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven" (Matt. 16:17, NIV).
May we all have ears to hear and hearts to receive what our Father in heaven desires to reveal!
Join me for this week's Out of Zion podcast on "Do You Have Ears to Hear?" Susan's Walk Thru the New Testament is the final quarter of her year-long Walk Thru the Bible series. Get started right away by downloading our Bible reading plan! Invite your friends and family to join us!
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