Are You Really Listening?

Read: Matthew 13:1-9

[Jesus said], “He who has ears, let him hear.” (v. 9)

Sometimes not being able to understand what someone says can be quite hilarious, like when my parents, aunt, and I rode a shuttle bus through Zion National Park in southwestern Utah. Our driver told us about another drive we could take that maybe would allow us to see some bighorn sheep. It was obvious that dad did not hear the driver right because he turned to us and said he never heard of “orange sheep.” My aunt just broke out in laughter at the lack of his understanding.

Jesus was so concerned that his followers understood his teachings that 14 times in the New Testament he says, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases Jesus’s common saying, “Are you listening to this? Really listening?” The Savior wants our hearts and ears to be like the soil of a garden that is freshly tilled with rich, fluffy black dirt. To listen with our hearts requires us to toss out the rocks and the thorns which prevent his words from soaking deeply into our souls.

A misunderstanding about trivial matters, like orange sheep, can be entertaining, but Jesus’s teachings about how to live and his salvation message are vitally important. To them, we need to listen carefully and pay attention. His words tell us the way to live abundantly and to have salvation. Are you listening, really listening to the words of the Savior? —Steven Laman

As you pray, thank Jesus for his words recorded in Scripture. Ask him to help you have a soft heart toward his teachings.

About the Author

Headshot of author Steve Laman

Steven Laman is a writer and public speaker who has lived with cerebral palsy since his birth in 1970. Steven is a prolific devotional writer for Words of Hope, and the author of three books: My Journey God’s Grace, Strength in Weakness and My Grace Is Sufficient. He also volunteers as a teacher’s aide. He lives with his parents in Iowa.