“… But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with perseverance…So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given.” (Luke 8:15, 18)
In one of the greatest teachings of Jesus He taught a parable about four ways people hear the Word of God. We might call it: “Four Men in a Pew – Which One are You?”
According to this parable the first man is wearing a hard hat because he doesn’t understand what he hears. The second man has a hard heart. His volition or will is not penetrated. The third man has what we might call the hard choices. He understands and he wants to apply the Word. The weeds are things like riches, pleasures, work and worry. He has to choose. We might say he loses the Word in the weeds because he makes the wrong choices.
The fourth man is described above. When he hears the Word of God he keeps it and obeys it. The first three do not hear the Word correctly and they bring forth no fruit. In other words, nothing happens. So, the bottom line conclusion is that we must pay very close attention to how we hear the Word of God.
Think of the challenge this presents to all those who teach the Word. When you teach, seventy five percent of the time nothing happens unless you penetrate the understanding, the will, and the priorities of those you teach. This means we must pay very close attention to the way we teach and hear the Word of God.