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Day 27—Friday, March 15

Matthew 13:15-16

“For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes – so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.”

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

“Hey boys, how was school today?” No answer. I ask again a little louder “Hey boys, how was school today?” No answer. In the same area of the house, I ask the Alexa computer “what is the weather?” I get an answer. I ask my dog Obi “Do you want to go for a walk?” I get an energetic tail wag with an excited doggy dance. I can now be certain that the sounds coming from my mouth can be heard. My boys aren’t listening. I cuff my hands around my mouth, take a deep breath, “Earth to the Moore boys! This is your father speaking! How was school today!?” I get an answer. They respond without looking, “good.”

The boys’ hearts are not hardened in my opinion, I was just battling for attention with a tv show about Marvel Heroes in a world called “What If.” I was asking a simple question, and not giving a parable about spiritual teaching. However, like Jesus taught us; The boys could hear me, but they were not listening. I believe the word “hear” in Matthew can also be used as the word “listening”. Listening means hearing, digesting, and responding. Even if responding is self-reflection and not an outward action.

These words in Matthew are Jesus’s response to his disciples asking him “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” (Matthew 13:10)

Jesus responds in a way that illustrates that human ears can hear sounds, however, to listen means getting a deeper spiritual understanding. Those that listen to his parables are more receptive to the spiritual truth with an open heart. To others, parables are just stories about farmers and strangers.

This passage in Matthew challenges us to listen, not just hear. I challenge all of us to listen to family, friends, and the lessons from our church. I will be the first to admit I have daydreamed during worship. It is easy for my mind to wonder into the past weeks or future weeks actions. I am envious of those who listened with undivided attention and walked away with a growing sense of faith and knowledge, while my mind was elsewhere. If we listen to the noises of hymns, prayers, and the words spoken in sermons, we can experience the abundance of knowledge, spiritualism, and love that Jesus teaches us.

-Hunter Moore



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