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Jesus uses this expression in the synoptic gospels and also post incarnation in the book of Revelation. Matt 11:15, 13:9,43, Mark 4:9,23, Luke 8:8, 14:35, Revelation 2:7,11,17,29, 3:6,13,22, 13:9

Where does He get this expression from? Is it from Ezekiel?

“But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭3:27‬

Why does Jesus if he is quoting the OT passage not bother even on one occasion with the counter position as did Ezekiel’s account which includes he who refuses, let him refuse.

What does this expression convey? Who indeed has ears to hear and can hear therefore?

  • @Mac'sMusings Please don't use comments to answer the substance of questions, they should be reserved for requesting clarification or suggesting improvements to posts. – Caleb Aug 7 at 9:17
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    I heard a southern USA preacher say “ you know even a stalk of corn has ears, but do they hear? No. Them ears ain’t for listening. – Kris Aug 8 at 17:34
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**He who has ears to hear”, what does this mean exactly?

What does this expression convey? Who indeed has ears to hear and can hear therefore?

Often when teaching large crowds, Jesus spoke to them parables/illustrations . He did this in order to test them and weed out those that just had a trivial interest in his teachings. After telling the parable of the sower who sowed seed on four different types of soil , the first three were on soil not suitable for sowing seed, the last one was on fine soil (Matthew 13:1-9) Following the parable Jesus said the following expression, "Let anyone with ears listen!” (Mat. 13:9 NRSV)

"Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” (Mat 13:10 NRSV) and He explains.

"The Purpose of the Parables."

Matthew 13:11-16(NRSV)

**

“To you it has been given to know the secret of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 13 The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ 14 With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says: ‘You will indeed listen, but never understand and you will indeed look, but never perceive."

15 "For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears and understand with their heart and turn—and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."

Conclusion.

Most of the people in the crowd heard Jesus but did not listen, they went home, back to their daily routine, just thinking that Jesus told them a fine moral story, they did not have any motivation or show interest, how the seed (good news Luke 4:43 ) would grow in their hearts so that they may understand the opportunities and benefits of the Kingdom, their hearts remain unresponsive, and quoting from Isaiah 6:10 Jesus said:

Matthew 13:15 (NRSV)

15 "For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears and understand with their heart and turn—and I would heal them.’

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I take Ezekiel 3:27 to be agreeing with the imagery of a fallen tree:

[Ecc 11:3 NASB] (3) If the clouds are full, they pour out rain upon the earth; and whether a tree falls toward the south or toward the north, wherever the tree falls, there it lies.

With a tree, wherever the tree has fallen it is too late to change. Jerusalem was about to be cut down like a forest and in whatever state of repentance they were in when they were felled is where they will forever be.

Hearing is tightly coupled with faith in the scriptures:

[Gal 3:2, 5 NASB] (2) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? ... (5) So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

[Job 42:5 NASB] (5) "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;

[Rom 10:17 NASB] (17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

We see it also in the Tanach:

[Neh 9:3 NLT] (3) They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the LORD their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the LORD their God.

Hearing, like faith entails obedience.


In the prophetic context of the gospels there seems to be an allusion to this:

[Isa 32:3 NASB] (3) Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded, And the ears of those who hear will listen.

So who are those who hear?:

[Jhn 8:47 KJV] (47) He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

In the context of John's gospel this seems to be a reference to the elect lost sheep of Israel/144,000 from each tribe whom the LORD had promised to search out, resurrect, fill with his breath and make into a kingdom of priests (Ezekiel 34, 37). With these the Messiah ratified a new covenant and wrote the Torah upon their hearts. This is being born over/from above:

[Heb 8:8-12 NLT] (8) But when God found fault with the people, he said: "The day is coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. (9) This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt. They did not remain faithful to my covenant, so I turned my back on them, says the LORD. (10) But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (11) And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, 'You should know the LORD.' For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already. (12) And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins."

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