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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 3, 2022

The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ

Matthew 15:10

And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

So, Jesus answers the accusation which was Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (Matthew 15:2). We will deal with His answer tomorrow. Today consider this, the Lord said: Hear and understand.

Notice also, to whom He was speaking. Until now the Lord was primarily speaking to the scribes and Pharisees. In this verse He called the multitude to Him. I believe out of proper decorum He spoke to the leaders in order to instruct them privately. After all, He called them hypocrites to their face, being the perfect gentlemen He did not do that in the hearing of the multitude.

Now, He is bypassing those leaders to speak to the multitude. If they would not teach them the truth, He would. After gathering the crowd, He began by saying Hear and understand. This was a command, one to which we should always pay special attention. Many hear but they don’t understand. Why? It could be that, as we have all done at one time or another, we hear, but don’t really hear. Our spouse says something to us, and we hear it, but later have to ask, “What did you say”? We heard the noise but did not process the message. Same is true in preaching services. Many hear, but some do not understand because they really don’t hear.

The other reason some hear but do not understand is that the teacher/leader does not use words easy to understand as I Corinthians 14:9 mentions. So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. The scribes and Pharisees did not have I Corinthians 14:9 but they did have Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. That was their job, to give the sense of the Law and cause their hearers to understand. Not only did they not do that, they, the religious leaders, put their commands above the commandments of God.

The lesson here is twofold. Preachers of all types are to stick to the doctrines of the Bible, give the sense of the Word of God to their listeners, and make them understand with all due diligence and methods. Listeners, the multitude, are to make sure to both hear and understand. Which cannot be done while sleeping, allowing themselves to be distracted, permitting their mind to wander, or especially wondering if so and so is getting this message. In short do that which Jesus commanded: Hear and understand.

Until Next Time,

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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