In Matthew 13:12, Jesus said, “To those who listen to My teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge.”
Are we “hearing only”, or are we “listening”? In other words, we are not just hearers of the Word, but we are doers of the Word—those who listen. And then James goes on to say, “But don’t just listen to God’s Word, you must do what it says.” (James 1:22). This is called hearing but are we doing?
So to those who will obey God’s Word, they will receive greater understanding and they will be given an abundance of knowledge. But…for those who are not listening, in other words, obeying, even what little understanding they have will be removed from them. Jesus explained in Matthew 13:13, “That is why I use these parables, for they look, but they don’t really see, they hear, but they don’t really listen or understand”. Wow—they don’t get it!
When we are talking with someone, we will at times say, “Are you listening to me? Do you hear?” At times when talking to a person, you can tell that they are not listening to you, they are off in their own world—so if they are not listening, they are not hearing. When that happens to me, I just stop talking to them because they don’t really care what I have to say.
Jesus spoke in parables to see if the people were actually listening to Him—“Do you get it? Do you hear Me? If not, listen…and you will hear!” Some got it, but others did not because they weren’t really hearing or listening. So the parables were for those who truly wanted to hear what He had to say, but it remained a mystery to those who didn’t listen!
God’s Word tells us that “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22). It is through our act of obedience that we gain more understanding and get an abundance of knowledge. So are we listening to God’s Word as we read it, or are we just reading and hearing it with out doing it?