Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”Mark 4:1-20 is where you find Jesus teaching a crowd by telling the parable of the sower. Farmers understand planting seeds, so the story about a man sowing seeds was a way to talk about spiritual things to the average guy.
When I’m being taught a concept or a principle, I like to use analogies in the conversation to make sure I’ve understood what the teacher was trying to say. I’m not a farmer, but most school children are taught about how seeds produce roots, stems, and leaves. I think the average guy could understand what Jesus was trying to say.
Verse one explains the setting. Jesus was in a boat, and the people gathered at the edge of the shore. I’ve been in a setting like that, and it’s really amazing how well I could hear the person in the boat. When Jesus said “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” in verse 9, I understand (from parenting) that not everyone who has ears is listening. Some people have ears to hear, and some just have ears.
Something else that affects our ability to hear is our openness to believe what we hear. There are those who hold on to wrong beliefs and miss out on a life-blessing encounter with Jesus.
Of course, the disciples later asked Jesus to explain the parables he’d been teaching the crowd with. I don’t think they were unbelievably dense, just curious to see if there was something deeper. There was.
I’m not sure they understood the deeper things because they had a hard time believing everything Jesus taught. They were average guys too. But Jesus expected a lot from them because they were going to Jesus School everyday. They should’ve understood a lot more than they did.
It makes me wonder if I would’ve been as teachable as the disciples. How about you?