Matthew 11:15
He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) He that hath ears to hear.—The formula, which meets us here for the first time, is one which our Lord seems to have used habitually after any teaching, in parable or otherwise (Matthew 13:9; Mark 4:9), which required more than ordinary powers of thought to comprehend. To take in the new aspect of the coming of Elijah required an insight like that which men needed to take in, without an interpreter, the meaning of the parable of the Sower.

11:7-15 What Christ said concerning John, was not only for his praise, but for the people's profit. Those who attend on the word will be called to give an account of their improvements. Do we think when the sermon is done, the care is over? No, then the greatest of the care begins. John was a self-denying man, dead to all the pomps of the world and the pleasures of sense. It becomes people, in all their appearances, to be consistent with their character and their situation. John was a great and good man, yet not perfect; therefore he came short of glorified saints. The least in heaven knows more, loves more, and does more in praising God, and receives more from him, than the greatest in this world. But by the kingdom of heaven here, is rather to be understood the kingdom of grace, the gospel dispensation in its power and purity. What reason we have to be thankful that our lot is cast in the days of the kingdom of heaven, under such advantages of light and love! Multitudes were wrought upon by the ministry of John, and became his disciples. And those strove for a place in this kingdom, that one would think had no right nor title to it, and so seemed to be intruders. It shows us what fervency and zeal are required of all. Self must be denied; the bent, the frame and temper of the mind must be altered. Those who will have an interest in the great salvation, will have it upon any terms, and not think them hard, nor quit their hold without a blessing. The things of God are of great and common concern. God requires no more from us than the right use of the faculties he has given us. People are ignorant, because they will not learn.He that hath ears ... - This expression is frequently used by Christ. It is a proverbial expression, implying that the highest attention should be given to what was spoken. The doctrine about John he regarded as of the greatest importance. He among you, says he, that has the faculty of understanding this, or that will believe that this is the Elijah spoken of, let him attend to it and remember it. 2. Now when John had heard in the prison—For the account of this imprisonment, see on [1261]Mr 6:17-20.

the works of Christ, he sent, &c.—On the whole passage, see on [1262]Lu 7:18-35.

It is an epiphonema or conclusion often used by our Saviour, (and by St. John in the Revelation), quickening up the hearers to a just attention to and belief of what in the doctrine preceding he had revealed to them; intimating that he knew, that what he had said would not be entertained or believed of all, but only of such whose ears and hearts God had opened, or should open to receive spiritual mysteries. But it was a matter of great concernment, he therefore calls upon those whose ears God had opened to attend to it. So Matthew 13:9,43 Mr 4:9 7:16 Luke 8:8. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. A way of speaking used by Christ, when anything serious, and of great importance, was delivered; and which required attention, and was not easily understood: and such were the several things he had mentioned in this context; as that John was more than a prophet, more excellent than all the prophets; that the law and prophets were now at an end, and that John was Elias; which things, if rightly understood, would serve greatly to settle their judgment, with respect to himself as the Messiah: but his words imply, that everyone had not spiritual ears and understandings, to hear and take in things of such an high nature, and excellent use; none but those to whom they were given; and such ought to attend to them, and, seriously weigh and consider the importance of them. The phrase is to be met with in Jewish writings, where it is thus expressed (h);

""He that hears let him hear, and he that understandeth let him understand";''

See Matthew 13:43.

(h) Zohar in Num. fol. 60. 3.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 11:15. A request to give due attention to this important statement in Matthew 11:14. Comp. Matthew 13:9; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8; Ezekiel 3:27; Hom. Il. xv. 129.Matthew 11:15. proverbial form of speech often used by Jesus after important utterances, here for the first time in Matt. The truth demanding attentive and intelligent ears (ears worth having; taking in the words and their import) is that John is Elijah. It implies much—that the kingdom is here and the king, and that the kingdom is moral not political.Matthew 11:15. Ὦτα ἀκούειν, ears to hear) Thus the LXX. in Deuteronomy 29:4; cf. Romans 11:8. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,” was a form of commanding attention peculiar to our Lord, and indicates, that the other things which might be said more expressly, are contained in those which have just been uttered.Verse 15. - He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. A solemn exhortation, often spoken by our Lord at the close of an utterance. See Matthew 13:9 (equivalent to Mark 4:9), 43; Mark 4:23; Luke 14:35 (comp. Mark 8:18; Luke 9:44; Revelation 2. and 3; 13:9). It means - You are all formed by nature to learn God's commands; answer, therefore, to your powers, and obey him. See Psalm 40:6 (cf. Hebrews 10:5).
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