2019 Study Summary 12: “Who Hath Ears to Hear, Let Him Hear”
Matthew 13; Luke 8; 13
What are three tools of learning?
They are seeing (visual), hearing (audio) and feeling (kinesthetic). These meta-programs (human perception modes) are reflected in the words we use to describe our reactions: “I see,” “Sounds right to me,” “I feel all right about this.” “. . . then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.” (Deuteronomy 5:1) “Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.” (Ecclesiastes 8:5)
How does Isaiah use sight, sound and motion?
“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.” (Isaiah 6:10) Please note the chiasmus: heart, ears, eyes, then eyes, ears, heart. The center point being eyes; Isaiah is giving us an “insight.” These are powerful meta-programs to teach about and experience life, even Eternal Life.
How can the multitude on the shore hear Jesus from a boat?
Around the eastern and northern shores of the Sea of Galilee are numerous coves. They were created by erosion as the prolific rainfall in the winter months raced downward through small canyons to the lake, drawing the black igneous basalt stone and gravel out past the shoreline. One such cove close to Capernaum has boulders of stone, choking thorn bushes, and patches of fertile land. People can easily stand around a boat anchored a little way out from the shore in a cove. The water easily reflects the sound of someone speaking from the boat to the equidistant audience around the vessel.
How can I have more abundant influence from the Holy Ghost?
The most significant message in the parable of the sower is in verse twelve. It is the center of a chiastic image. The parable uses the wayside, stony place, and the thorns as image points. Then in reverse, consider that the heart was not pricked, the ears were not unplugged (as if stones were in their ears), and their hearts couldn’t understand the way. The inspired translation makes the lesson of using the gift of the Holy Ghost easier to understand. “For whosoever receiveth to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever continueth not to receive, from him shall be taken even that he hath” (Matthew 13:12) The modern proverb says, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” By exercising the gift, it expands and grows. The parables Jesus used offered learning experiences on the level of those listening and according to their sense of understanding. Parables are like paintings. They can be studied for more interpretation.
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How are comparisons a part of “opposition in all things.”
“Bible or rabbinic literature to convey a message by means of comparison. The story helps to capture the attention of the listener and its familiar format provides a simple way of illustrating the point.” “The mashal (as the parable is known in Hebrew) takes on many forms in Jewish literature. It can, for example, be an animal tale like Aesop’s fables. Thus Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah dissuaded the Jews from revolting against the Romans by telling them the parable of the crane which extracted a thorn from the throat of a lion. When the crane asked for its reward, it was told that it had been sufficiently rewarded in not being eaten when thrust between the lion’s jaws. Similarly, the Jews should feel lucky that they had not been annihilated by the Romans.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What reasons would subtleties of a mystical message be understood by just a few?
“Another type of aggadah, also often disguised in simple form, was in reality a mystical message. Since mysticism does not lend itself well to exact expression, the rabbis would use a parable or an allegory to make themselves understood.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) “The principle involved which necessitates the policy of teaching by parables is found in Amulek’s statement: “It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.” (Alma 12:9.) “The difference in receptiveness to the truth of the Jews, among whom our Lord ministered in mortality, and the Nephites, to whom he went after his resurrection, is nowhere better shown than in the fact that he gave at least 40 parables to the Jews, but he taught the Nephites, not in parables, but in plainness.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Page 553)
How do you seek understanding through God’s hands and His creations?
“Very often the acts of God are referred to figuratively using terms such as “the hand of God.” Such metaphors are examples of how the Bible speaks in the language of man in order to help us understand concepts which would otherwise be beyond our grasp. Thus, a metaphor like “The hand of God” may be used to represent strength and protection such as in the verse, “Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy” (Exodus 15:6). “At the same time, the image of God’s hands has been used to show benevolence and loving-kindness, as in the verse, “You open Your hand and satisfy every living thing with favor” (Psalms 145). “Animal metaphors are frequently used in the Bible. For example, the Almighty “is for them like the horns of the wild ox; they shall devour enemy nations . . . ; they crouch, they lie down like the lion” (Numbers 24:8–9). “In the Book of Proverbs, the references to animals serve mostly to teach good behavior: “Go to the ant; thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6-8) (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How do you use the tools of learning to enhance understanding?
In our education, entertainment, and communication we use mediums that enhance sight, sound, and motion. Got the picture? Sound all right to you? Get the drift?