Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Be Careful What You Hear

Many times Jesus said to His followers, “You have heard it said… but I say to you...” He was intent on correcting their misunderstanding of the heart of the Law, and thus, the Father's heart. As a teacher, I know people “hear” things differently, sometimes hearing things I didn't even say! No doubt Jesus was aware of this “I-thought-I-heard-you-say” phenomenon, because He often said, “Let him who has ears to hear, hear...”

Allen Greenspan eloquently captured the essence of this hearing problem: “I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” So, Paul says, “For this reason, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard”
(Heb. 2:3). Even as Jesus warned against those who have ears but fail to hear, and worse, cannot remember what they heard (Mark 8:18).

There is a spiritual principle that asserts ‘you cannot live beyond your vision’—we are limited by what we see. The same goes for hearing. Jesus said, “Be careful what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more”  (Mark 4:24, NIV, NLT).  Did you know that Charles Stanley always draws emphasis to his important points by saying, "Now listen up."


  1. That's powerful. I had never put these two things together before: the having eyes and ears and not being able to see or hear and the fact of not remembering. We are not paying attention to what we should and therefore we fail to remember it. When you mention Mark 8:18: "...and you do not remember? That's key. Actually this is the Lord's answer/Scriptural confirmation to something I've been asking Him. You know, we go to church but we don't go with the attitude expected by our God. We are not extremely careful during the week, seeking Him in every possible way, having a God-fearing and humble attitude, and attending church with a reverential awe of God. During the service we are not so immersed in what is taking place, so hungry and thirsty for what the Lord has so graciously prepared for us as to not let anything be wasted. We should crave for every morsel of bread. I love how 1 Samuel 15:22 reads in the RV 1960 -the Spanish rendering-, it says: "Certainly, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to pay attention than the fat of rams." Our "shama`" is what causes Him great delight because our heart is fully committed to listening to Him. It is a state of being in constant alert to what He is saying to us.

    Besides that I'd like to comment on Mark 4:24 too. It's awesome! I love the NLT rendering, it makes it so plain. I don't think anyone can miss it. Our Lord deserves our undivided attention. When we listen closely He makes it easy for us to obey.

    Thank you Greg. :)

  2. Good morning Greg,
    Good post! Thank you!
    One of the most respectful things we can do is to just listen. And listening has fruitful benefits. One of those is that if we truly listen, we can discern the intents of the heart of the speaker (and our own for that matter).
    When one experiences the spin-doctors trying to re-frame the truth, one can also get an underlying message of disrespect for the listeners. Jesus was not a spin-doctor, but instead spoke the truth to power, to sinners, to the hurting, and to evil. No wonder that in Him who was found no guile, he noticed that trait in Nathan.
    Would that I might be listening to Jesus such that I can discern the intents of His heart!
    Again, Greg, thanks for the nudge!
    Larry Q

  3. I am astounded at how relevant is your message today. In Jeremiah 6:10 it says: "To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it."
    Then the Lord says in Matthew 13:15: "For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, -in Spanish it reads "they hear heavily"-- [the way we hear expresses the condition of our heart]-- and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart and turn, so that I should heal them."

    "...Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, yet he does not know it." How the Lord wants to gather His people to Himself! (Matthew 23:37). How much of the world is attracting us, subtlety, how many distractions that keep us from concentrating and focusing our attention on what is really important in life. "Fear God and keep His commandments."