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Why this is important: Whenever Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” He is calling for people to pay careful heed. It is another way of saying, “Listen up! Pay close attention!” Speaking in parables was one way in which Jesus sought to gain the attention of the crowds —people love stories, and the parables depicted events and characters with which they could readily relate. But unless they were willing to tune out other distractions and come to Jesus to understand the meaning of His preaching, His words would be only empty stories. They needed more than ears, however keen they were; they needed ears to hear.

God’s goal: God really, really wants us to listen. Obedience comes from listening to God and acting on what we have heard.

  • Luke 2:46 — 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
  • James 2:5 — 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
  • James 1:19 — 19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
  • Proverbs 19:20 — 20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.
  • Psalm 34:11 — 11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of Yahweh.
  • Proverbs 5:7 — 7 Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
  • Proverbs 7:24 — 24 Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth.
  • Proverbs 8:32–34 — 32 “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, For blessed are they who keep my ways. 33 “Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. 34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.
  • Proverbs 12:15 — 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
  • Proverbs 13:1 — 1 A wise son accepts his father’s discipline, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
  • Proverbs 15:31 — 31 He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof Will dwell among the wise.