Having Ears to hear
This was a common saying of Jesus.
Ears to hear is Jesus stating for one to listen carefully to the truth so that they can change their mind and repent to fix the error of their ways.
Matt 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Matt 13:8-9 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Luke 8:8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." When He had said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Those who have understanding of what they heard are fruitful, those who do not understand do not have the seed (the word) take root and the devil rips the seed off in various stages.
Matt 13:41-43 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Many times it was an appeal to understand his spiritual teachings.
Mark 4:23-25 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." Then He said to them, "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. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
When they continually refuse to hear Jesus fulfilled Isaiahs warning as John states they become blind and hardened.
John 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them." (Also Mt.13:15; Acts 28:27)
Isaiah spoke of this Isa. 6:9-10 And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' "Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed."
Isa. 44:18 They do not know nor understand; For He has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, And their hearts, so that they cannot understand.
This is like Pharaoh who continually heard and refused to change, so the Lord made that he no longer had a choice in the matter.
Mark 7:15-17 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Meaning, understand what I am saying on this matter. That we have sin resident within us and it is expressed by what we do and say.
As for the Church, "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Luke 14:34-15)
Here Jesus tall us salt can go bad and can become totally useless. In other words, one can be salt at the beginning and later change (salt being the only preservative they had in Biblical times). When we stop hearing the word we stop doing the word. This is what the Bible says the church will be like in the last days.
Even in the Old Testament this saying is used for Israel by the Lord.
Deut. 29:4 Yet the LORD has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day.
Ezek. 12:3 Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.
Yet the Lord promised through Jeremiah that a certain point For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart. (Jer. 24:6-7)
Rev. 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
This is said to the churches 7 times in his discourse for the churches in Asia. Jesus is showing us that the Spirit of God directly conveys what the church needs to hear.
Do we have open ears to allow His words to enter our hearts today?