He Who Has Ears

Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose.
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.

Fess up! If you have kids, you’ve performed that aria. Even if you don’t have kids … well … you probably read that with the little melody playing in your head as you did so, and now it’s stuck in your head for the next hour.

Everyone has ears. Well, okay. Vincent van Gogh had only one ear, but most of us have two.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
– Revelation 2:7, ESV

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
– Revelation 2:11, ESV

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
– Revelation 2:17, ESV

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
– Revelation 2:29, ESV

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
– Revelation 3:6, ESV

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
– Revelation 3:13,ESV

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
– Revelation 3:22, ESV

Can we go out on a limb, and assert that this is important to Jesus? Seven times he said, essentially, “Hey! Listen up!” And it is safe to say, that hearing in this context is not just the audio sound waves entering our ear canal. This is the hearing of obedience. In that light, even a deaf man can hear. The Spirit of God says, “Do this,” and we respond with “Yes, Lord.” This is what the apostle Paul called, “the obedience of faith.”1

Jesus is telling these churches, “Mend your ways.” And how dare any of us ever say to Jesus, “Nah, that’s okay, Jesus. I’m saved by faith and not by works, so I’m fine. No mending is required.”

Hearing is an essential part of the salvation process.

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
– Romans 10:14-15, 17, ESV

It is of particular importance that we “give ear” to the actual words spoken by Jesus. Jesus tells us that it is not him who will judge us, but rather his words will judge us in the end.

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
– John 12:47-48, ESV

Today’s world is loud. Myriad voices scream for our attention. Many, if not most, of those voices are foul, dangerous, and do not warrant our willing ear. This is why Jesus cautioned us to “give care to what you hear.”2 False teachers and ignorant teachers abound, and they polish their craft to a science or an art form. But to the discerning ear, they do not persuade us because we know, “if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”3

Just as we saw above that Jesus cautioned us regarding what we hear, we also have instruction from Jesus to “take care then how we hear.”4 Note the difference in how two distinct groups hear the same gospel.

For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
– Hebrews 4:2, ESV

One group united their hearing with πίστις (pistis), translated as “faith” or “allegiance.” Their hearing produced something in them, an alignment, an allegiance to the King. Hearing without such alignment and allegiance does no benefit for the hearer.

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
– John 5:24, ESV

Give care, brothers and sisters, to what you hear, but give even greater care to how you hear.

Blessings upon you, my friends.

Victoriously in Christ!

– damon

DamonJGray.org
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1. Romans 16:26
2. John 4:24
3. Isaiah 8:20, WBT
4. Luke 8:18

Damon J. Gray

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