He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Matthew 11:15

"The hearing ear and the seeing eye, The Lord has made both of them" (Proverbs 20:12).

By means of a marvelous mechanism, God gives us the ability to hear.

As I speak, my diaphragm, vocal chords, throat, mouth, teeth and tongue move in intricate ways to produce a complex of sound waves, vibrations in the air.

A message is being sent! Can you hear it? Are you listening?

A shell-shaped protrusion on each side of your head catches the sound waves and enables you to know the direction of the source. The waves swirl around and enter the ear canal. The delicate skin on this canal grows outwardly at 2 or 3 mm per day to continually renew itself.

The outer section of this canal is coated by a water-repellent wax-like substance which traps dirt and helps to keep water out of your ears. The inner part of the canal does not have this substance, which is why you should never poke a swab into your ear, or the wax may be pushed back too far and block the canal. When I was a boy, my father warned me not to put anything other than my elbow in my ear.

The back of the ear canal is closed off by a membrane called an ear drum. The sound waves of my voice strike this membrane and cause it to vibrate. Thus, the air vibrations are converted into mechanical vibrations. Attached to the inside of the ear drum, there is a lever system composed of three small bones. They transmit the mechanical vibrations to the footplate, which is in direct contact with the fluid in the inner ear. Thus, the mechanical vibrations are converted into fluid vibrations. To equalize the pressure on both sides of the ear drum, a tube (the eustachian tube) runs from behind the ear drum to your throat. Swallowing helps balance the pressure.

The inner ear converts the hydraulic vibrations into nerve impulses.

The outer section of the inner ear, called the vestibule, is also used for balance and orientation. Operating something like the water tube in a level, it lets you know which way is down, and gives you a sense of motion, which is your sixth sense. Spinning around causes this fluid to slosh about, which makes you dizzy because your brain no longer knows which way is up. The sensors in the vestibule are also used to keep the visual image in your brain "right-side-up" when you tilt your head.

The back part of the inner ear is a coiled duct, shaped something like a snail shell. It contains an extremely complex system of nerve fibers which can detect frequencies from 20 cycles per second to as high as 20,000 cycles per second. The physical processing of such a wide range of frequencies is an amazing engineering feat, especially since it is done in a mechanical device the size of a pea.

The decreasing diameter of the coil, causes the wave crests of the various frequencies to strike the walls at different places, which enables the nerves to report reception of that particular frequency to the brain. 23,500 sensors send these signals to the brain through the acoustic nerve which is a bundle of about 30,000 individual fibers. These fibers are grouped according to frequency, and the intensity of a sound is indicated by the number of fibers carrying the sound. These signals go to different parts of the brain, where the signals from the two ears are mixed, decoded, insignificant signals are filtered out, and significant signals are acted on and stored in memory.

Thousands of different creatures have ears specifically engineered for their own needs.

The ear was made by God (Proverbs 20:12). It did not evolve, it could not, not in a hundred billion years.

How well do we use these marvelous ears God has given us?

When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain, the Father spoke from heaven: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Hear Him!" (Matthew 17:5).

Jesus explained that some refuse to hear: "For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their heart and turn, So that I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear" (Matthew 13:15,16).

Jesus presented the truth on a take-it-or-leave-it basis: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Matthew 11:15). Anyone who has children knows it is possible for audible words to be ignored and simply "not heard"! Are we listening to our Father? Are we willing hearers of the word of God?

In the parable of the sower, Jesus said that good hearts will hear and obey the word: "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience" (Luke 8:15).

Jesus also warned: "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given" (Mark 4:24). He once told the crowd: "Hear Me, everyone, and understand" (Mark 7:14). And on one occasion He told His disciples: "Let these words sink down into your ears" (Luke 9:44).

Jesus explained that the family of God consists of those who listen to the Father: "My mother and My brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it" (Luke 8:21). He also said: "He who is of God hears God's words" (John 8:47); "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27); "Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice" (John 18:37).

Paul warned Timothy that some people will turn their ears away from the truth: "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

Seven times in Revelation, in the letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor, Christ commands: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22). The Spirit speaks through the holy Scriptures: "We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:19-21). Are we listening? Are we heeding the prophetic word? Are we hearing what the Spirit says to the churches?

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

Most people who call themselves Christians, do not listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. They prefer to follow their own whims, the latest trend, or the traditions of men.

The only way to really be a church of Christ, the only way to really be a Christian, is to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

In the Gospels, Jesus cried out time and time again: "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9,23; 7:16; Luke 8:8; 14:35). And in Revelation 13:9, as the New Testament draws to a close, we read it again: "If anyone has an ear, let him hear."

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive