Then he told them many things in parables… …Whoever has ears, let them hear.”Matthew 13:3, 9-13
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”
In front of a gathering of people, Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower. A farmer scattered seed and it fell in four different places. The seed on the hardened path was eaten by birds. The seed on the rocky soil sprung up quickly yet died for lack of soil. The seed among the thorns grew but was eventually choked out. Finally, the seed that fell on the good soil produced a harvest. Jesus concluded this parable by saying, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
The disciples wanted to know what we want to know. Why was Jesus speaking in parables? So Jesus explains why He does this.
Jesus’s teachings contain the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But Jesus has to be careful who obtains these secrets. He’s looking for the seed of the Kingdom to fall into good soil. So, the principle Jesus is applying is the same one we see in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). In the Parable of the Talents, those who were faithful with little were given more. The one who was not faithful with little, even what little he had was given to someone who would be faithful with it. Jesus is looking for good stewards, those who will be faithful with what they’ve been given. Those who will believe the word and apply it. Those who will cultivate the seed in good soil.
Jesus states the principle plainly, “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance.” Whoever has what? Good question. Jesus already told us. Whoever has “ears to hear.” They will be given more.
Then Jesus follows with, “Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” Whoever does not have what? Good question. Whoever does not have “ears to hear.” They will not be trusted with more, and what they did have will be taken from them. He’s not talking finances here. He’s talking about revelation, truth, secrets of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus then describes people who don’t have ears to hear the secrets of the Kingdom. He says that they can see with their eyes, but are blind to truth. He says that they can hear with their ears, but their hearts are deaf to the what God is revealing.
Jesus wanted to reveal the secrets of the Kingdom, but He wanted to do it for people who would be faithful with it. He wanted the secrets of the Kingdom to be revealed to people whose hearts were like good soil, soft hearts, surrendered hearts. He wanted secrets of the Kingdom to be concealed to those who weren’t ready for them, so He spoke in parables. Like Jesus said in Matthew 7:6, “Do not throw pearls to pigs” or they will not only trample them but turn and tear you to pieces.
And this reveals two secrets about hearing God. When we talk about hearing God more clearly, we aren’t talking about literal volume. Imagine a radio tuning in to a radio signal. There is the tune knob and the volume knob. The tune knob in the Kingdom is surrender. The volume knob in the Kingdom is believing God. The more we surrender and obey, believing what God has already said, the more we continue to hear from God. The more our heart is soften to the Lord, the more His parables–the words He speaks directly to our hearts–make sense.
God didn’t want the secrets of His Kingdom in the hands of people who were hard-hearted and didn’t believe. He didn’t want His secrets in the hands of the arrogant and prideful. So Jesus spoke in parables. Jesus hid the secrets of the Kingdom for us, not from us. Those who are willing to go low, willing to surrender, willing to believe with soften hearts, they will be given a truckload of truth, a reservoir of revelation. Those who live in skepticism and unbelief will not.
If you are wanting to hear more from God, if you want Him to reveal things to you, if you want Him to unveil secrets of the Kingdom to you, the first step is repenting of an unbelieving heart. Ask God to forgive you for your unbelief, cynicism, skepticism and doubt. Ask Him to soften your heart. Then ask the Holy Spirit to speak clearly to you and set aside daily time to listen. Listen for pictures and words that the Lord brings to your mind. And whatever He shows you, be a good steward of it. Be obedient. Stewarding what He’s already said is key in receiving more.