He Who Has Ears, Let Him Hear


As I said the word aloud, my husband immediately responded with “He who has ears, let him hear.”

It’s a phrase repeated often in the New Testament by Jesus himself as He preached and taught.  As soon as he said it, I knew I would have to look it up in my new keyword bible to gain a better perspective.

Of course, looking up Greek roots is probably totally breaking the five minute friday rules and spirit, but I felt compelled, because when I heard the word listen, I immediately thought – I haven’t been listening.

I’ve been ignoring.

He who has ears, let him hear. What does it mean to really hear the Lord?  The truth is it involves much more than the act of hearing!

Then I thought of my children: how they frustrate me when I’m trying to get their attention and they act as if they haven’t heard.

I thought of how patient God is when I act like I haven’t heard.

So, I wanted to know more about this phrase: He who has ears, let him hear.

A quick search revealed that this phrase appears six times in the gospels and usually in the context of a teaching moment, whether with a large crowd or with his small band of followers, the disciples.

According to my NASB Hebrew-Greek keyword study bible, the Greek word akouo is  a verb used here meaning, “to hear” in various senses: one of those senses being hearing as an act of being informed and another being hearing as an act of learning.

In its primary sense, it means to hear as in to “perceive with the ears,” but other connotations include to listen, as in “to give ear to,” to pay attention to.  Even more, the word akouo also implicates “to give heed, to obey.”
He who has ears, let him hear. What does it mean to really hear the Lord?  The truth is it involves much more than the act of hearing!

Just as I expect my children to listen when they hear my voice, so God expects us to listen when we hear His voice.  Just as I expect my children to give ear to my words, so He expects me to give ear to His.

Furthermore, just as I expect my words to propel my children to action, so He expects His words to result in active obedience.

To hear is to listen; to listen, to learn; to learn, to obey.


He who has ears, let him hear!

Jen :)

It’s time for another Five Minute Friday! :)  I’ve really loved participating in this challenge as it stretches me as a writer.  Writing for five minutes with little to no planning and no editing frees me to just write, just let the words come forth on their own.  No over-thinking, no second-guessing.  I’m enjoying that freedom quite a bit!

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  1. says

    wow, that is fantastically profound and challenging! am i ignoring God when He is speaking to me??? eeeek! i want to have ears to hear! i was listening to a brian houston (hillsong pastor) the other night and he was talking about mentoring and about listening = heeding – that to really listen means that you listen and do…

    thank you for your post and the reminder it is!

  2. says

    Dear Jen
    This is very interesting! Yes, I think we should ask our God for these kind of ears that not only listens, but hear and obey as well!
    Much love XX

  3. fionacharisbrown says

    I love love love knowing what the original greek means, so thank you for taking the time to do this. Fabulous!

  4. says

    I found you through the Weekend Whatever Link-Up. You are so right. Listening is foundational to everything else we do. Thanks for the reminder that we need to model that behavior if we want to cultivate it in our kids.

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