Eyes to See and Ears to Hear
God gave us senses in order to learn about and experience the world around us; this is something we usually learn about from a very young age. Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch are the building blocks of our information intake.
Two of the more complex aspects of our anatomy are our eyes and ears. To give a very basic description of the functionality of our eyes, we see when the light reflecting off whatever we are looking at enters our cornea. However, since our eyes are curved, it bends the light and our eyes actually receive an upside-down image in the retina. The only reason we don’t see everything upside-down is because our brains flip the image for us to see correctly. An even more basic description of the ear, sound waves enter the ear canal causing bones to vibrate. These bones are so tiny that even when bundled together they are still collectively smaller than a dime. These vibrations stimulate what are called hair cells that send nerve impulses to the brain allowing us to hear.
God is truly a master when it comes to design. Our ears and eyes are so complex that it caused even Charles Darwin to say about the eye, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” He did, however, go on to say, “the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.” Even though it didn’t cause his faith in his theory to waver even Darwin had trouble when it came to the complexity of the eye.
When it comes to our eyes and our ears, they work exactly how He intends for them to work. However, functioning eyes and ears don’t really mean you can see and hear. A common phrase of Jesus you will see when reading through the gospels is “if any man have ears to hear, let him hear”. It seems odd that Jesus would say something like this; unless they were plugging their ears if they were functional, they would hear what He was saying. This must mean something else.
Here’s the truth; eyes to see and ears to hear don’t necessitate seeing and hearing. God gives Ezekiel the answer, “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 12:2). To have eyes and ears that don’t work is not natural, therefore, to have eyes and ears and not see and hear is also unnatural. Ezekiel takes it further and says it is rebellious.
We can read the Word of God with our eyes, and we can listen to the message of God with our ears, but to truly see and hear goes further than simple basic understanding and acknowledgment. If I give my kids instruction that they hear, but don’t obey, have they truly listened? This was the problem in Israel. They had every advantage- they had the prophets, they had the priesthood, and they had the temple; all showing them the truth of God’s message. They could hear and see the truth- but they didn’t obey and follow that truth.
In Mark chapter four (vss. 13-20), Jesus gives the parable of the sower and the seed. He said some hear the Word and Satan steals it away, some hear the Word and receive it but have no root, they don’t endure hardship, some hear the Word but they bear no fruit, however, others hear the Word, receive it, and bear abundant fruit. All “heard” but only those that had “ears to hear” brought forth any fruit.
To truly see and hear necessitates believing and obeying. To truly see God is to believe Him, to truly hear God is to obey His message. God made us with incredible wisdom, our eyes and ears are marvels of creation. We need to use them to see and hear the message of His love and grace; for our understanding and for His glory.
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