The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye



(Note to the reader, this study should be viewed as a cross-reference to another post, Isaiah Chapter 29: “A Book that is Sealed” https://bereansearching.com/2018/02/16/isaiah-chapter-29-a-book-that-is-sealed/)

In Proverbs 20:12 we are told something that is extremely important. “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.

If a person is not physically deaf or physically blind at birth, or later by disease or accident, does not everyone have ears that hear and eyes that see? So what is the point of this verse?

The answer is that God is NOT talking about physical ears and physical eyes. God is talking about spiritual ears and spiritual eyes, which are NOT innate capabilities that form part of any natural human being’s anatomy. They have to be bestowed on a person by the grace of God (the Lord) alone to impart the new birth when a person is “born again” through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit. The abilities to spiritually hear and spiritually see are solely the gift of God to whomever God chooses. And we know from Matthew 22:14, that Jesus clearly said, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” This means that there are going to be only a relatively few who have been given such spiritual ears and spiritual eyes because that gift is synonymous with salvation.

Moreover, God tells us plainly, in three passages in the Bible, why Jesus spoke in Parables:

  1. In Matthew 13:10-17 we read, “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias (Isaiah 6:8-10), which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”
  2. In Mark 4:11+12 we read, “And he (Jesus Christ speaking to His disciples) said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables:  That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and [their] sins should be forgiven them.
  3. In Luke 8:9&10, we read , “And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

One has to wonder how this can be?, given that God states so very clearly and plainly how He uses parables to veil the mystery of the kingdom of God from unbelievers. It makes absolutely no sense from the perspective of normal human reasoning. This is because it depends entirely on the supernatural intercession of God as He sees fit. Moreover, Jesus openly explains one of His parables, which anyone can read in Luke 8:11-15 (Please see the parable of the Sower here: https://bereansearching.com/2018/03/20/the-parable-of-the-sower-the-bibles-rosetta-stone/)…Nonetheless, it will mean nothing to an unbeliever beyond the merely intellectual.

The answer to this conundrum is that even if a parable is clearly explained to a person who remains an unbeliever (one whom God does not intend to “hear” or “see” or “perceive” or “understand” the meaning), then the salvation imbuing essence (The Holy Spirit) will not be manifest and the Word of God will still remain completely veiled or hidden to that person. On the other hand, if God so chooses to save a person, then that person will be given the spiritual ears and spiritual eyes and have the Word of God applied to his or her heart. We also know that salvation through Jesus Christ is through the “hearing” of His Word (Romans 10:17, “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“) that they might all know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

Note that later in Mark 4:23 we read where Jesus explicitly said, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” which is repeated again in Mark 7:16, “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

It is particularly important to remember back when Moses was lecturing Israel for its unbelief…even though the Israelites had seen many, many miracles in Egypt and in the wilderness with their “physical eyes” in Deuteronomy 29:4…”Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.” Those Israelites remained spiritually deaf and blind in unbelief.

And when Jesus was speaking about the ears that could not hear and the eyes that could not see He was referring back to what we read in Isaiah 6:8-10, because Isaiah was talking about Jesus (He is the “I” and “me”)…”Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”

Paul reiterated this point in Acts 28:24-28 …”And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.” The Gentiles would be ingrafted into the family of God through the “hearing” of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Isaiah 29:9-14“Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

Isaiah 29:18, “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Isaiah 32:3, “And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.

Isaiah 35:5, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.”

Isaiah 42:7...”I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”

Isaiah 43:8, “Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Jeremiah 5:21…”Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not

Ezekiel 12:2…”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.”

Matthew 13: 13-17…“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” (And please remember that Jesus was referring back to Isaiah (Esaias in Greek) 6:9-10, “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.“)

Luke 9:44&45…Jesus specifically declared to His disciples what was about to happen to Him, and they heard it not because “it was hid from them“, “Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.”

Luke 18:31-34… Again Jesus tells the disciples in detail what will happen next, “Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them,Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” The words that Jesus spoke had no impact at the time because it was supernaturally “hid” from the disciples.

Luke 19:41&42…Jesus wept over Jerusalem where we read, “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

John 8:43…Jesus speaking to the Pharisees said, “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

John 12:16…Note that it was not until after Jesus’s ascension that the disciples understood that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament scripture and prophecies…”These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and [that] they had done these things unto him.”

John 12:38-41…”That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.” See also Mark 9:31&32

Acts 26:18 …”To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Romans 11:7-8…“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; ) unto this day.”

And note that having an ear to hear is mentioned 7 times in the book of Revelation with respect to what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

  1. Revelation 2:7He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God“.
  2. Revelation 2:11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death“.
  3. Revelation 2:17He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
  4. Revelation 2:29He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
  5. Revelation 3:6He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
  6. Revelation 3:13He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
  7. Revelation 3:22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

And please let us not forget Psalm 119:18, where we are instructed to say to God, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous (pale) things out of thy law.” And we know that Jesus Christ, The Saviour, is “Wonderful” from Isaiah 9:6 (H6382 פֶּלֶא peleʼ, peh’-leh; which is derived from H6381 פָּלָא pâlâʼ; a miracle:—marvellous thing, wonder(-ful, -fully). And why do we need to have our eyes opened?…well it is because of what we read in Isaiah 45:15, “Verily thou [arta God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.”

We need God to give us the spiritual ears to hear and the spiritual eyes to see that Jesus Christ Is our Only Hope for salvation as explained throughout all of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments.

And finally in Revelation 14: 9…”If any man have an ear, let him hear.”

Admittedly, this is all hard for the general reader to accept on the face of it, but God also shows us how He can and does hide anything from anyone as He sees fit. Look again at the example that we are given in Luke 18:31-34, where Jesus point blank told His twelve disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to be put to death and rise again from the dead on the third day in fulfillment of prophesy, “Then he took [unto him] the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.“, but then we immediately read next, “And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”

Conclusion

Everyone thinks that they have “Ears to hear” and “Eyes to see”, but the reality is that it is only possible to spiritually hear and spiritually see IF God Wills anyone to be so blessed, otherwise everyone would remain deaf and blind to the Truth, Who is Jesus. The result of such blessing is synonymous with Salvation as opposed to eternal judgment for sin. In John 9:5, Jesus announced, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” after which he immediately healed a blind man, “born blind”. We see similar references to physical healing that point to the spiritually healing culminating in Matthew 11:4&5 with, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Then we read later in John 9:39, ”And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. [PLEASE SEE POSTSCRIPT]

It is this teacher’s prayer that all who come to this page might be spiritually quickened (made alive) by the Holy Spirit such they would have the “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” so that they will have peace with God through His Dear Son, Jesus Christ our LORD.

POSTSCRIPT: The reader should also be aware that the whole of Chapter 9 of the Book of John is the account of the blind man, blind from birth, who Jesus opened the man’s eyes on a Sabbath day that the man could see. While the account should be read in its entirety, some key points are these: 1) When the Pharisees asked the man how he could see, the man explained that Jesus put clay (made with the spittle of Jesus, see verse 6) and then washed in the pool of Siloam as directed by Jesus and then could see. 2) the Pharisees and some of the Jews refused to believe that it was possible, even though they asked the man three times “How were thine eyes opened?” and his parents once. The formerly blind man answered, “one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” and then when questioned the third time said, “Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and [yet] he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” The Pharisees became incensed and cast the man out of the synagogue. 3) Later Jesus met the man and we read in verses 38 & 39, where, after Jesus affirmed to the man that He is the Son of God, “And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind“.

Moreover, in Mark 7:31-35, Jesus similarly healed a deaf man, “And he took him aside from the multitude, and put hisfingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

So then, once again we are assured that what we read in Proverbs 20:12 is true, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them. And the key takeaway from these historical literal accounts, is that they are there to teach us that we are all from birth born spiritually deaf and blind, but God The Father, in His mercy, through Jesus Christ His Son, by the Power of His Holy Spirit, can make us to hear Him spiritually and to see Him spiritually by His Word. Romans 10:17, “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Conclusion

Remember that only God can make anyone to hear or see, both physically and spiritually, as we read in Exodus 11:8, “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing,or the blind? have not I the LORD?” And then we we go to Matthew 20:32-34, “And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion [on them], and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

And remember also in Luke 24:44&45 where Jesus was with the disciples after His resurrection, “And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

It is this writer’s prayer that this may be the same for all whom God has brought to this website.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible Studies

2 Comments on “The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye”

  1. sclark333 Says:

    Yes. A true description of the milieu God established for this first earth so that it would be a very good field for the sending forth of the work of Christ, the lamb of God who would rescue the elect for His glory and praise.

    Is. 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

    1 Cor. 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

    This reality is built into this first earth so that it would be impossible to obviate the mercy of God. From the beginning, the first day, the prevailing condition has been darkness.

    2 Cor. 4:6 “But” God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

    2 Cor. 4:3-4 Bur if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not. lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    1 Pet. 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

    Lk. 24:45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

    Indeed, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.”

    We all come into this world as the man born blind of John chapter 9.


    • Thank you so much for those additional insights, as they provide excellent support. May all who come to this post be blessed by the Wisdom that God has so graciously provided from His Word! And isn’t it interesting that God offers this uplifting insight from His Word relating to the ear and eye first in the Old Testament in Isaiah 64:4, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” and then in the New Testament where Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: