None so deaf as those that will not hear. None so blind as those that will not see.
I just spent a few days with some family members who are on the other side of the green field. You have to make sure they are looking at you when you speak . . . loudly. Otherwise, you won’t be heard.
I’ve been very public about my own hearing issues. Perhaps I’m not so far away from that side of the field myself.
Jesus encountered some hard-of-hearing people, too.
In Luke 14:35, Jesus says, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Then in 15:1, we find out who has the ears to hear.
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathered around to hear him.”
By now Jesus has a large following. His name is out there. He’s twittered, posted, and chatted for years and his platform is huge. 5,000 men show up for his luncheon. Women and children flock to meet him and call him blessed.
So why is it that the ones listening aren’t the leaders of the community? Why don’t they have ears to hear?
Because Jesus says some hard things.
He says that everyone is invited into the kingdom. Every sheep is brought safely into the fold. Every brother is loved, every sinner forgiven, every child wanted.
He treats everyone the same.
She sits alone at the church potluck, surrounded by groups of laughing people who have more in common with each other than with her.
He stands alone at the conference, his body contorted with spasms but his mind free and frisky.
She sits, eyes lowered, with her ratty-tattered children waiting for your hand-out.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-2 NIV
Are you listening to Jesus or are you muttering about the welfare check, the useless riff-raff, the immigrant?
Jesus tells his listeners three stories of lost things being found.
‘But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:32 NIV
Can you hear him? Do you have ears to hear?