Have you ever wondered why there are so many religious movements, oftentimes speaking contradictory doctrines? Why do many people seem to have such a difficult time interpreting the Scriptures correctly? Why is it so difficult for people to understand what God is saying in the Bible? We know that God is not sending out conflicting messages.
The Scriptures are written in such a way that only the ones who have a heart to really know the Lord will hear His Word. That is why Jesus said, If any man have ears to hear, let him hear (Mark 4:23). Jesus is not talking about the ears on the side of your head. He is talking about the capacity to hear (receive) the spiritual truths hidden in the Scriptures. And it is your heart, the attitude of your spirit, that determines your capacity to hear. Spiritual truths are not grasped with the mind, but with the heart.
One common problem among Christians that hinders spiritual growth is the assumption that we have when we have not. If you assume that you have something that you don’t really have, you have closed the door to it. You cannot receive something that you feel you already have. Christians, in general, feel they have a lot more than they really do. Assumption is a major problem.
Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, His disciples came unto Him.
He saw the multitudes, He was set, and His disciples came unto Him.
Matthew 5:2 And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying…
Why does the Scripture say, “He opened His mouth”? You can’t say anything without opening your mouth. It is a Hebraism. Whenever you see that, it is an indication that something is being said of extreme importance. It is more than mere normal teaching. Jesus is uttering Kingdom truths and Kingdom principles. He is speaking a living Word.
He opened His mouth and taught them. Who is “them”? The disciples! He saw the multitude, but it was the disciples who were coming to Him. They weren’t merely walking up closer to Him. They were coming to Him. It was something of their heart. Their hearts were being drawn to Him. They were coming to Him spiritually. It is when your heart is drawn unto the Lord that He is set to teach you. The multitude wasn’t drawn to Him in that way. The Lord is set to teach disciples.
Verse 1 says that He went “into the mountain” and “He was set.” Mountain speaks of a higher realm. And on this higher realm He was “set,” anointed to teach the heavenly truths of the Kingdom to His disciples. His disciples were being spiritually drawn to Him, and He opened His mouth and taught them saying…. The Sermon of the Mount was Jesus teaching His disciples how to live in another world.
What about the multitude? They heard the words, but they didn’t hear the Word. Many people today read the Sermon on the Mount and do not understand it. They only receive the words of information. They do not hear the Word because their hearts are not drawn to the Lord. They do not come to Him. If you have the heart of a disciple, if you are drawn to the Lord, then He is set to teach you.
Matthew 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
This statement is made eight times in the Gospels. Then to each of the seven churches in Revelation chapters two and three Jesus says, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. That is a total of fifteen times. What does that say to us? It says that the Lord is speaking truths that transcend normal hearing. He is speaking to disciples, not to the multitudes. The hearts of disciples are drawn to Him. What the Lord wants to teach us has to be heard with the heart.
Jesus wants us to hear, and we determine whether we can hear Him or not. We determine it by the state of our hearts. “Well, I can’t help how my heart is.” Yes, you can! In fact, that is what He is saying, “If you have an ear to hear, you will hear.” If you have a heart that wants to hear, you will hear, and that is determined by you. You will love what you want to love. You will like what you want to like. You will be as dedicated as you want to be. We can argue about it, but it is the truth! Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why do You speak unto them in parables?
The disciples knew that the multitude could not hear what He was really saying.
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
That is the same thing as saying, “It is the will of God for you to understand, but it isn’t the will of God for them to hear it.” Jesus explains why the mysteries of heaven were not revealed to the multitude in the following verses.
Matthew 13:13, 15 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see
not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Jesus was not speaking to the multitude; He was speaking to the disciples. And He was not speaking to the multitude because their hearts were dull. Spiritual truths are received and understood with the heart, and their hearts were not open to hear. Notice that Jesus said, “Their eyes they have closed.” They had closed the door to spiritual perception. Listen, the responsibility is ours. We have to open our hearts to the Lord. We determine the state of our hearts. How much revelation we receive is determined by how much we open our hearts to the Lord. Be a disciple of the Lord! He speaks to disciples.
Copyright © 2002 by Henry DuBose