He that Hath Ears to Hear, Let Him Hear

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 11:15, KJV)

He that hath an ear let him hear showing a woman closing her ears

Certainly, all of Jesus’ listeners had physical ears, yet Jesus’ emphasis on having ears “to hear” beckons a deeper understanding. This phrase compels us to ponder what it truly means to have ears that hear. How can we cultivate such ears, and how might we apply this capacity?

To unravel Jesus’ intent, let’s begin with Isaiah’s prophecy:

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; And see ye indeed, but perceive not.” (Isaiah 6:9, KJV)

Isaiah declared that the people would hear but not understand; they had ears yet did not hear (Jeremiah 5:21). Reflecting this, Jesus, after teaching in parables as recorded in Matthew 13:13-15, highlighted that although the listeners physically heard Him, they did not understand what He meant; they had ears but did not hear Him.

This prophecy found its most dramatic fulfillment in the religious leaders in Jesus’ days, as Paul observed:

For those residing in Jerusalem and their leaders, failing to recognize Him or understand the prophets’ messages proclaimed every Sabbath, unwittingly accomplished the prophecies by condemning Him.” (Acts 13:27, KJV)

For generations, the Jews, alongside their religious leaders, had heard the Law and prophecies concerning their Messiah read out loud during every Sabbath. However, when Jesus, their anticipated Messiah, appeared among them, they did not recognize Him. This narrative underscores the dire consequences of lacking discernment—having ears that do not hear—and possessing a heart dull of spiritual understanding.

In this context, a hearing ear signifies not just listening to the message but understanding its divine intent. Such understanding ushers individuals into the very experience God desires for them. Consider how the religious leaders were alienated from God’s blessings due to their failure to grasp the essence of what they heard.

The concern deepens when applied to ourselves. Indeed, as Christians, we may also have ears that do not hear. For example, we might hear about healing yet remain unhealed, be aware of prosperity yet stay impoverished, or hear about the dangers of sin yet continue in sinful behaviors without repentance.

The Bible is the Word of God to us, and every single day, the question remains—are we hearing what God is saying? God wants us to have ears that hear and eyes that see. This hearing ear or seeing eye is dictated by the condition of our hearts. A heart imbued with understanding is the cornerstone of an ear that truly hears.


Declare this, “My ears are open, and I hear what the Lord is saying to me through the Scriptures”.

Apply the Word

The Lord poses a pivotal question to us: Do we have ears that hear? Are we hearing what the scriptures are saying to us? For instance, He has spoken to us plainly in the Bible about the power of the blood to solve our problems—all of them. Are our ears hearing this truth in the scriptures? So open your ears and start hearing what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to you.


Pray for the Spirit’s guidance to cultivate ears that hear and eyes that see.

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