Eyes to See, Ears to Hear

What did Jesus mean when he referred to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear? When Jesus was about to feed the 5000 in John 6, Andrew brought a child with a lunch of five barley loaves and two fish. Then he commented that this would be little among so many. Jesus was not dismayed; he didn’t have the same perspective. He simply took what he had, thanked God for it and fed the crowd. Andrew had made a logical conclusion. Experience told him that five loaves and two fish would feed very few people. It doesn’t take many years of life to understand that concept. However, Jesus says that we must be like children. Children have not yet learned how many could be fed from five loaves and two fish. From a child’s perspective, why couldn’t five loaves and two fish feed 5000? Andrew looked at the situation through the world’s lens, but Jesus looked at it through heaven’s lens. Jesus had heaven’s eyes and ears and saw that five loaves and two fish would be enough to feed the crowd. Jesus urges us to see every situation through the lens of what we see in heaven and what we hear from heaven and apply it to our situation on earth. Having this perspective does not seem to be something that can normally be done overnight. The disciples lived with Jesus and saw him work for three years, yet still had trouble grasping the ways of heaven. For us their example implies that we must practice learning to view life from heaven’s perspective and training ourselves to hear what heaven is saying so that first we recognize and then understand. Like children learning to understand language, first they hear sounds, but it is not until later that they understand that those sounds have meaning that they can understand. In other words, so that we learn to have eyes to see and ears to hear.

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