“Whoever Has Ears to Hear, Let Them Hear.”


through the new testament mark

Mark 4:1-41

Parables are confusing, right? In fact, they can even be a little bit frustrating. Why is that? Because, there is something in me, let’s call the “Consumer,” that expects truth to be handed to me in the most simple and palatable way possible. Now, I don’t need a “silver platter,” but I don’t want to work for it. Parables cause us to work for it. Parables make us do the hard work of contemplation, reflection and even research. Ouch!

Jesus says twice in this passage, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Those with “ears to hear” are the one’s who aren’t simply gathering information. They want to “come to Jesus, hear His words and put them into practice,” (Luke 6:47). In Mark 4, the person with “ears to hear” is equivalent to the “good soil.” I want to be that person. I want my heart to be that kind of receptive soil.

Eugene Peterson writes of this parable:

The story is about a farmer who went out to sow his seed. The seed was good seed, and under proper conditions, it would grow. It fell on four different kinds of soil. The different kinds of soil stand for different kinds of listeners.

"Some of it fell on the road." The plots of ground in Palestine were unlike ours in that they were very much smaller and were separated from the neighboring ground not by a fence, but by a road. Some seed fell on the well-trodden road and couldn’t penetrate it. Birds came along and ate the seed. This is a picture of the heavily trafficked mind. So much comes across it that it becomes worn and hardened. Television, newspapers, magazines, books, trivial conversation, gossip – all March with sodden feet over the poor mind. When such a person comes to church and hears the words of Scripture, the words simply cannot penetrate.

"Some fell in the gravel." Palestinian soil has more rocks in it than soil. It looks fine on the surface, but the farmer who wants to grow a crop must spend much time preparing the soil, picking out the rocks embedded in it. Seed planted in rocky soil sprouts quickly because the rocks help warm it, but because of inadequate moisture and room for roots, the sun and wind make short work of it. This is a picture of the undisciplined mind – the mind that’s content with pious platitudes and ethical truisms. But the word that God speaks to us isn't an easy word. The Word of God speaks of the massive eternal event of our redemption – there must be a serious grappling by the listener if it's to take deep root in his life.

"Some fell in the weeds." There's nothing wrong with the soil here. It's the presence of the weeds that causes the difficulty. The good seed is literally strangled by overgrowth. It happens in any garden. The only remedy is faithful weeding. This is the picture of the undiscriminating mind. This mind receives the Word of God, but receives every other word on the same basis.

"Some fell on good earth." This seed took root and brought forth a good harvest. The soil is characterized by the absence of all the previous faults. It isn't trodden down; it hasn't been walk over by every farmer in the neighborhood. It isn't rocky; it has been carefully prepared by the farmer so that there is a depth of ground to support a root system. It isn't full of weeds; it has been weeded of that which was not worthwhile.

This is the way to listen to the Word of God.

There is a preparation of silence as we clear our minds of the heavy verbal traffic of the world. There is a preparation of discipline as we train our minds to meditate upon and assimilate truths that reach to the ultimate meaning of our life with God. There is the process of discrimination as we listen with intent to hear God's words, not permitting human opinions or irrelevancies to choke out its life.

Let us, then, listen to God's word spoken to us individually and corporately. Let us endeavor to be that good soil so that when the seed of the Word of God comes into our lives, it may be reproduced a hundredfold.

From Conversations: The Message With Its Translator by Eugene Peterson


Father, I want ears to hear. I want my heart to be the good soil your Son spoke of. Help me not be a lazy listener. Help me to not be a disobedient listener. Help me to not be a confused listener. Give me the grace to say “Yes” to whatever you ask. You calmed the sea! Who else should I be listening to! 

Bobby Pruitt BOBBY PRUITT  |  Lead Pastor

Bobby was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He is the youngest of 13 children and was the first believer in his family. He graduated from Columbia Bible College and served in churches in South and North Carolina before coming to Texas in 1994. Bobby and Amy have been married since November of 1990 and have 3 children (Riley, Beau, and Emma Grace).


I think we all struggle with not being the seeds that land in the thorns. Everyday demands can choke us out and away from God if we let them.

I too have been the person with ears yet they are filled with 'stuff' that I have put before God...if I hear the sermon because I quit thinking about other things or when I am awake then if I can take notes then I am a better listener, then if I don't apply the sermon to my life then it does not take root. I have to remember that I am not superwoman and I may not be chosen to tell every person I hear what I have learned in the sermon but I should practice at least on a client or too. If nothing else I should go to lunch or have coffee with a member of the church to go over the sermon so I can practice what I heard...I just don't put to practice what I hear...we complicate life with 'stuff' that doesn't matter and it is just a waste. I won't give up...I will try harder to implement the word of God to my daily life and share the gospel to others or share what I heard in church with someone from church to practice what I heard. Practice makes us 'maybe not' perfect but equipped to share the word of God to others.

Las parábolas

Las parabolas confunden al lector, o no? De hecho, las parabolas nos pueden llegar a frustrar, Por qué?, Porque en mí hay algo llamado, digamos Consumidor, que espera que la verdad se me entregue de la manera mas simple y digerible posible. Tampoco deseo que me lo sirvan en bandeja de plata, pero en esencia, yo no quiero procesarlas y analizarlas. Las parabolas nos hacen trabajar, nos forzan a hacer el trabajo de contemplación, reflexión y aún investigación, dificil, no?

Jesus dice dos veces en este pasaje “El que tenga oídos para oír que oiga” Aquellos con oídos para oír son los que no simplemente están recogiendo información. Estos quieren “venir a Jesús, oír sus palabras y ponerlas en práctica” (Lucas 6:47). En Marcos 4, la persona con “oídos para oír” es equivalente a “terreno bueno”. Yo quiero ser esa persona, quiero que mi corazón sea esa clase de terreno receptivo.

Eugene Peterson escribe acerca de esta parábola:

La historia es acerca de un agricultor que fué a sembrar su semilla. La semilla era buena semilla, que bajo condiciones adecuadas, crecería, Cayó en cuatro tipos diferentes de terreno. Estos diferentes tipos de terreno significan diferentes tipos de oyentes.

“Algunas cayeron en el camino” los lotes en Palestina no eran como los de ahora, porque eran mucho mas pequeños y estaban separados del terreno del vecino no por una cerca sino por un camino. Algunas cayeron en el muy transitado camino y no pudieron penetrarlo. Vinieron los pájaros y se comieron la semilla. Esto representa una mente muy transitada. Tiene tanto en su cabecita, que se vuelve gastada y endurecida. La televisión, periódicos, revistas, libros, conversaciones triviales, chismes - todo esto transita sobre la pobre mente. Cuando una persona así llega a la iglesia y escucha la palabras de la Escritura, estas simplemente no pueden penetrar.

“Algunas cayeron en terreno pedregoso” El suelo de Palestina tiene más rocas que tierra, se vé bien en la superficie, pero el sembrador que quiere mantener una cosecha tiene que gastar mucho tiempo preparando el terreno recogiendo las rocas que están allí metidas. Las semillas plantadas en terreno pedregoso brota rápidamente porque las rocas le dan calor, pero por la poca humedad y espacio entre las raíces, el sol y el viento rápidamente la acaban. Esta representa una mente indisciplinada - la mente que está contenta con divagaciones piadosas y truismos éticos. Pero la palabra de Dios hablada a nosotros no es una palabra fácil. La Palabra de Dios habla del grandioso evento eterno de nuestra redención - debe haber una firme asimilación por parte del oyente para enraizarla en su vida.

“Algunas cayeron en la mala yerba” El terreno acá no tiene nada de malo. Es la presencia de la mala yerba que causa la dificultad. La buena semilla se vé literalmente estrangulada por sobre crecimiento. Pasa en cualquier jardín. El único remedio es el podar la mala yerba permanentemente. Esto representa una mente que no discierne. Esta mente recibe la Palabra de Dios así como recibe cualquier otra palabra.

“Algunas cayeron en buen terreno” Está semilla hechó raíz y produjo una buena cosecha. Este terreno se caracteriza por la ausencia de todas las fallas previas. No ha sido transitado ni pisoteado por cada sembrador de la vecindad, no es rocoso, ha sido cuidadosamente preparado por el campesino de tal manera que hay una base suficiente de buena tierra para sostener la estructura de las raíces; no está llena de maleza, ha sido podada de aquello que no es valioso.

Esta es la manera de escuchar la Palabra de Dios

Se requiere una preparación en silencio en lo que limpiamos nuestra mente del alto tráfico de este mundo. Hay una preparación en disciplina en lo que entrenamos nuestra mente para contemplar y asimilar las verdades que alcanzan el último significado de nuestra vida con Dios. Hay un proceso de discernimiento en cuanto escuchamos con la intención de escuchar las palabras de Dios, sin dejar que las opiniones humanas irrelevantes nos alejen de su vida.

Escuchemos, entonces la Palabra de Dios dirigida a nosotros individualmente y congregacionalmente. Esforcémonos para ser ese terreno fértil para que cuando la semilla de congregacionalmente. Esforcémonos para ser ese terreno fértil para que cuando la semilla de la Palabra de Dios llegue a nuestras vidas, pueda ser reproducida cientos de veces.

De Conversations: The Message With Its Translator by Eugene Peterson


Padre, quiero tener oídos para oír. Quiero que mi corazón sea ese buen terreno del que tu Hijo habló. Ayúdame a no ser un oyente perezoso. Ayúdame a no ser un oyente desobediente. Ayúdame a no ser un oyente confundido. Dame la gracia de decir “SI” a lo que tú pidas. Tú calmaste el mar. A quién más yo debería escuchar?

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