Sometimes when we make a point to someone, passing on something we think they aught to think about or do, we hear the response: “I hear you…I hear you!”
Sometimes there is a reluctance, exposed in their tone of voice – but at the same time they know what you shared is applicable.
Revealing a certain kind of hearing. Let’s just call it reluctant hearing.
Spiritual hearing, can start in a similar way – reluctantly. But deep down we know it is applicable.
Hearing begins in the natural – our natural faculties hear words in a message, a communication.
And we respond accordingly.
Our response is individual. Sometimes others agree and we respond corporately to what is communicated.
Everyone wanted to agree that the Health workers in the front line for us all – should be shown and assured of our deep appreciation for their valiant efforts.
So – many responded and stood at their doors and applauded, hoping the echo would resound throughout the community and be received as encouragement by these dedicated servants.
But if some stay indoors and don’t applaud, is this because they didn’t hear or don’t agree?
Or did they hear the call alright – but had a reason not to respond?
Unavailability – would be a possible reason for not taking part in the applause, i.e. engagement elsewhere, in some important activity.
Otherwise human reasoning – annulled their hearing. Because the hearing of the call to corporate applauding – demanded response.
They heard and didn’t hear, at the same time. Because they did not respond.
So it is with the gospel message, or any message of truth that calls for a right response.
In the corporate applauding situation, it’s easy to conclude that those who heard are non-appreciators.
We conclude they didn’t hear by virtue of their lack of response to this small act of appreciation, because they didn’t join in.
This is an illustration of how to hear and yet not hear.
So hearing and understanding can be two different things, in this instance.
Usually understanding provokes your will to do something, this affirms that you heard and understood. Understanding usually calls for response of some kind.
Where am I going with all this?
Well not to disappoint your expectation of the spiritual point.🙂
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
What way are we meant to hear and respond to spiritual truths?
If there is no response – does that reveal that we have heard and yet not heard? Heard – according to this verse and not properly understood?
If you don’t like the idea of being a person that doesn’t ‘get it’, one who doesn’t properly understand – you can examine it further until you do.
In the verse above – those referred to, didn’t hear and understand – I submit to you – because they did not act upon what they heard, even if the response was to simply explore the thoughts and words of the gospel further.
43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.
So hearing/understanding/believing/responding with action/ are inextricably linked.
True spiritual hearing is followed by understanding and by a choice of the will to believe.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
You and I – MUST be born again – according to The Lord Jesus Christ.
MUST is pretty emphatic.
Do we understand what this means? Then we shall take the necessary ACTIONS to prove we understand in the truest sense.