Do you ever feel like you hear things but you just don’t get it? You can’t figure out why something was said or what it meant? Sometimes when this happens we work hard to figure it out, to see if we heard right or not, or at least we make an attempt at understanding. But lots of times we just forget about it, figure it was not meant for us to understand, determine maybe we heard wrong, and move on to the next thing in life.
This is the last blog in a series about being careful how we hear, essential to walking by faith and not by sight. Spiritual hearing happens by the Word of God while faith comes to us by hearing. Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
After telling a parable about the sower and his seed, Jesus said “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:8) When the disciples asked Jesus what the parable meant, His response was, “…To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’” (v.9)
The disciples had ears to hear but to let them hear, they had to hear more! In other words, they heard the parable but didn’t understand it, so they asked Jesus what it meant! We need to do that as well when we hear God things we don’t understand! We just need to hear more! We have ears to hear and hopefully let them hear, but we also have Jesus, and we should let Him explain what we don’t understand by the power of His Holy Spirit.
When we WANT to let ourselves hear more we quickly become aware there are mysteries of the kingdom of God available to us! With this realization we might as well move from His parables to His mysteries, from seeing to really seeing, from hearing to understanding! No need to stay in ignorance!
Jesus was happy to explain the parable about what happens by being either careless or careful in how we hear when seed, God’s Word, is sown in our lives. When we are careless in hearing, it’s because we are positioned in one of three places where the seed can’t survive. On the wayside we hear the Word, but the devil snatches it out of our hearts so we don’t believe and aren’t saved. On rocky ground we hear the Word, receive it with joy, but because it cannot take root in the rocks we believe for a while but when temptations come it withers. In thorny ground we hear and receive the Word, but when we go out with it, the cares, riches, and pleasures of this world choke it out and we never produce mature fruit.
When we are careful how we hear, we receive God’s word in good soil and yield much good and mature fruit! Because how we hear while here on earth is all about positioning, we simply put ourselves in good soil; in Jesus, in the body of Christ, in His Church and expect to produce a harvest! Luke 8:15 “But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”
Everyone knows it takes time and patience to bear fruit so we are in this for the long haul, refusing to move or be moved by the rocks and thorns, or enticed to step off the Way to the side. Just pay attention to where we stand, and then be careful how we hear!
But there is more! Jesus tells His disciples a vital truth immediately after explaining the parable. Luke 8:16-17 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lamp stand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.”
To guarantee we stay in good soil and produce fruit, we expose ourselves to the Light! Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12) and just as plants need sunlight to grow, we need Sonlight to grow! We open our hearts to more seed, more of the Word, keep it in our hearts to germinate, and as it takes root it breaks forth out of our hearts and is exposed to Light!
When the Word of God produces fruit as it continues to be exposed to the Light, we become light! (Matthew 5:14) His fruit in us makes us light, and the fruit of faith shines and gives light to others who enter our lives as well.
It would make no sense to turn on a lamp and then cover up or hide the light it produces or prevent it from shining forth. It makes all the sense in the world to turn on a lamp, set it out in a well-located place so those who enter can see the light.
In the same way, we don’t cover up or hide what God has done in us! If it doesn’t make sense to turn on a light and cover it, it doesn’t make sense to be in good soil, to hear mysteries of the kingdom of God and then cover them up or hide them. We don’t cover up the Word, talk “around” it, hide it, try not to offend people with it, read it only once in a while, or pull out the “good” comforting stuff and leave the rest. It ALL produces fruit in us!
When faith comes by hearing the Word as it is sown in our hearts in good soil, we set the fruit or crop out there for all to see, speak it, and live it out because it lights up every place and everyone!
God reveals mysteries of the kingdom of God to His people, secret things He takes out of concealment and brings into the light! That’s why He said NOTHING is secret that will not be revealed nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light!
We are not limited to only hearing parables like “the rest” but we are the “to you’s” to whom it has been given to know the mysteries inside the parables, to have secret things revealed, to know and see hidden things. Just walk in the light as He is in the light! (1 John 1:7) Stay in the good soil and stay in the light – take what God produces and set it out on a stand for all to see!
Jesus plants His good seed in us in good soil, and we start producing! Then He lights us up, sets us out, so others can see the light! We just get to shine for Jesus, stay in the good soil to keep producing, and shine some more!
Jesus wraps up this discussion by saying “Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.” Luke 8:18
The “therefore” means because we now understand the significance of how we hear through the parable about the sower, seed, soil, and because we know we don’t hide the light produced in us, we are to take heed how we hear. Jesus started with “He who has ears to hear, let them hear” and ends with “Take heed how you hear” plus includes a whole lot of hearing in between. How we hear is VERY important!
One last thing! Don’t miss the more here! Whoever has ears to hear and lets them hear will hear more! Whoever is producing a crop, thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold can expect to produce more! Whoever is putting out mature fruit, expect more harvest. Just be careful how you hear!
On the other hand, whoever has ears but doesn’t hear will have things taken away. Whatever crop they seem to have produced will be removed and whatever fruit they appear to have will be gone. All because they were not careful how they heard.