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Do You Hear?

“He who has ears, let him hear.”  Jesus said this over and over.  This is not just a religious blog, but a blog that will help everyone, regardless of religion. When people talk, do we really hear them?  Jesus wanted to know, “When we hear, do we actually listen?”  In Matthew 13, Jesus told a story about how people listen.  This is how it goes:

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“A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

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Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow.

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But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

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Other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.

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Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

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He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:5’9).

We could actually apply this to anything we hear.  How much of it do we actually hear, and if we hear it, how deep does it go?  How can we tell how deep it goes?

If you apply the story to Jesus, then he is the farmer.  The seed he was planing was his teaching about God.  If the seed falls along the path, and the birds eat it, that means that there are people who hear the word of God, but they reject it.  The birds are the devil, or evil that already exists inside of them that puts up a road block so that they can’t even consider what is being said.

The seeds that fell where there were lots of rocks, fell where the dirt was thin.  It didn’t take much for the seed to take root and come up through just a small amount of dirt, but the roots were too close to the surface, so the sun burned the roots.  These are people who hear the teachings of Jesus, and they like it.  They may even say they believe it. However, when they walk away, they run into an old buddy who says to them, “You didn’t believe what that guy said, did you? It was all nonsense.”  When they hear someone say something like that, they respond by saying, “Of course I didn’t believe it.”  They didn’t have it deep enough inside of them.  They believe, but they don’t have enough faith to speak up and say that they believe.

The next seeds fell among thorns.  They took root and grew. However, the thorns choked them.  These people actually believe what is being said. However, life is hard.  Bosses demand too much sometimes.  Families are difficult sometimes.  Schedules get hectic.  Money at times has trouble meeting all the bills we have.  These kinds of things are thorns.  When we are stressed and upset, we run around putting out fires, and anything else we want to do goes out the window.  It doesn’t matter what we believe or what we would like to do because all we think about is our problems. We forget about good things we have heard and let the cares of this life take us over.  They believe, but they don’t let themselves practice Christianity.

The seed that fell on good ground and came up 30 or 60 fold is the way we want our gardens to grow.  Some people are just ready for what they hear, and it doesn’t matter how many problems that could get in the way, they don’t let it happen because they understand the importance of what they have heard.  These kinds of people, when they hear the word of God, not only become Christians, but they study the Bible, learn to love others, live a pure life, and let God take away all their stress. They are not afraid to say to others that they believe in God.

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Some of us believe that Jesus is the son of God, but there are people who don’t believe it.  Even if he isn’t the son of God, you have to admit that this is really good story about listening.  When we teach kids in school, how much of it do they take in?  When parents teach their kids, do the kids really listen?

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If a Math teacher teaches students, the first guy, the one where the birds take the seed away, is going to make an F.  He is probably drawing pictures and thinking about something else while the teacher is talking.  The next students were the seeds among the rocks in a Math class might understand when the teacher is teaching, but when they get to the homework, they have forgotten everything the teacher said and will make a bad grade. Perhaps they should have taken notes. Or. perhaps they would just rather play when they get home instead of doing homework.  The ones who let the thorns choke them actually understood, but perhaps they have a job after school or have to go home and clean the house for their mother and make dinner because their mother works outside of the house.  They forget about their homework and don’t do it.  The seed that fell on good ground understood what the teacher said, went home and did their homework, doing a good job. They end up getting a good grade in the class.

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We can also read books like this.  Some people look at a novel and put it down.  The next person starts to read it, but gets interrupted by something that looks more fun to do, so they leave the novel. The third person tries to read the book, but they don’t get much out of it because someone has the TV up too loud or a couple of family members are fighting, or a baby is screaming.  The last person is able to block out the noise, choose the book instead of a party, and really get into the book, read it and enjoy it.

If you are around a foreign language, do you just ignore it?  Do you hear it and think it is neat, but not really care if you communicate and go on your way?  Do you begin studying the foreign language, but get distracted and forget to study?  Do you let the difficult verbs, strange sentence patterns, or complicated pronunciations discourage you enough to quit studying?  Do you apply yourself, study every day, practice, learn to have fun with it, and finally learn to speak?

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You can’t eat a piece of cake by simply looking at the cake. You can’t have cake by simple looking at the recipe.  I wish “a cake” (figuratively or literally) for you. If you have ears, listen for a better life. Be the last person in the story.

I could continue to show you the comparisons.  My point is, “Do you have ears?’  I want to ask if you listen when you hear the word of God, but really do you listen to anyone at all about anything?  If you are a student, I hope you are the last student who actually understands and does their homework.  If you read a novel, novels can be very interesting, you just have to give them a chance. If you are a child, the child who listens to their parents when they are corrected, has a better life. If we use our ears, if we let it sink into our brains, our lives can be better. You must admit, no matter what, unless it is something bad that we really shouldn’t be learning, applying ourselves to good things and actually learning them give us a better life. If you have ears, listen. Jesus is really a teacher worth listening to.

 

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