Hearing without Understanding

Matthew 13:13 – “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

In his book, Pearls, Points and Parables, F.E. Marsh relates this story about a Church in Peoria, Illinois: “It is an Easter morning custom for the ushers to greet incoming members of the congregation by saying, ‘The Lord is risen.’ An elderly lady who was deaf, and who had recently united with the Church, was met by Dr. Tyng with the same joyous salutation. ‘What is it?’ she asked, pausing as she cupped her hand to her ear. ‘The Lord is risen,’ repeated the doctor. ‘Oh yes,’ said the lady absentmindedly, as she moved down the aisle. She was met by another usher who gave her the same greeting. ‘What did you say?’ she demanded. ‘The Lord is risen,’ he replied. ‘Oh, yes, so Dr. Tyng tells me!’ she remarked complacently, as she entered a pew.”

The dear woman still had not “heard.” The words had reached her ears, but their meaning, significance and content had not touched her heart.

This is the experience of many churchgoers Sunday after Sunday. Although they appear to be attentive to what the minister is saying, the message itself is lost because they “hear…indeed, but understand not.”

He goes on to say, “As the son of a preacher, I was exposed repeatedly to the Gospel but did not respond to it personally for some time. I thank God, however, that one day I really “heard” the Lord speaking to me through His Word. As the good news of salvation was presented, I joyfully received Jesus Christ as my Savior, and in that moment passed from death to life!”

Is God speaking to you today? Beware, lest you “hear….but understand not”! (Isa 6:9).