Three times in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said, Who has ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:15; 13:19, 43). He made the same statement three times in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 4:9, 23; 7:16). Luke records the same statement in his Gospel twice (Luke 8:8; 14:35). To each of the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, Jesus said, He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). And Revelation 13:9 says: If any man have an ear, let him hear.
It becomes quite clear from these references that we need a special capacity to hear what the Spirit wants to reveal in the Scriptures. Then, in Proverbs 20:12, we learn that it is necessary for God to create in us the spiritual capacity to hear and understand. The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them. Paul confirmed this when he told the Ephesians that he was praying for God to give unto them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:17-18).
The disciples were under the teachings of Jesus for at least three years, and they still needed the Lord to open their understanding to the Scriptures before He ascended. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45. Christians, in general, tend to take it for granted that they can understand the Scriptures, that they have the reasoning power to interpret them correctly. However, if that were true, Jesus would not have said: If any man hath an ear, let him hear.
John 5:39-40 Search the Scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of Me.
40 And you will not come to Me that you might have life.
Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees. They were the religious elite, the religious leaders of the Jewish people. They studied the Scriptures diligently because they thought that was their salvation, their eternal life. But they didnít receive the Christ-life that was in them. The Scriptures enhoused His life and they knew it not. They only received the information, not the life in them.
John 5:45-47 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one
that accuses you, even Moses, in whom you trust.
46 For had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.
47 But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe My words?
The Pharisees honored Moses as a great teacher and professed to follow his teachings diligently. But Jesus said they didnít really believe Moses at all. If they had, they would also believe Him, for Moses wrote of Him. All of his writings: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. But the Pharisees only saw the history of their patriarchs and the nation of Israel. Not only the Pentateuch, but the Psalms and the Prophets were concerning the Lord Jesus, too. And He said unto them, These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me. Luke 24:44. And you must also realize that if the Old Testament is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is also speaking of the many-membered Body of Christ.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.
II Corinthians 3:6 Who (God) also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Do you understand what Jesus and Paul are saying here? It is the Spirit of Life hidden in the Scriptures that is most important, not just the information itself. You may learn the information in the Scriptures, just like the Pharisees did, and still miss the divine life. The Word is Spirit and Life. If you only receive the information, the letter of the Scriptures, you will remain in death. It is the Spirit that gives life.
Letís say that you bought a train engine, and with that train engine was six boxcars filled with gold bars. After you bought the train you studied all you could about being a train engineer. Then you started up the engine and up and down the track you went. You became very knowledgeable about trains. You became an expert engineer, but you never opened the boxcars. No one knew more about operating trains than you did, but you never found the treasure in those boxcars. That is the way many Christians study the Scriptures. They become very knowledgeable about all the information in the Bible, but they never find the treasure hidden in it. The Scriptures are freighted with the Life and Spirit of the Lord, but you have to learn how to open them up to find the divine treasure in them. If all we had to do was to learn the information in the Bible, it would be a very simple matter.
It is amazing how many Christians think just as the Pharisees did, that their eternal life was in learning the information of the Scriptures. The Scriptures are like that train with the boxcars of gold. If you want to really know the Lord, to really partake of His divine nature, then open up those boxcars!
Copyright © 2000 by Henry DuBose