The Duty of Consideration Explained and Enforced
Mark 4:9
And he said to them, He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

1. Our Lord evidently meant, by the language of the text, to remind His hearers that it was an apologue, fable, or parable He had been delivering.

2. By this mode of expression they were further reminded that the several truths veiled under this parable were most interesting and important.

3. The direct purport of the exhortation was, to persuade them to consider what they had heard.

4. He in effect tells them that if they were not benefited by what they heard the fault was rather in their will than their understanding. "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."


1. Let us take care to digest properly in our own minds the subject on which we mean to discourse to others.

2. Care also is to be taken about the manner, as well as the matter, of our discourse.

3. That we should look well to our aims and views in discoursing of the great things of God.

4. That our dependence should be firmly placed on the gracious and seasonable influences of the Holy Spirit. And now, thus prepared, we have a right, be our audience who they may, to adopt the language of our Master, and with authority to say, "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Upon the grounds of common sense as well as religion, we may demand their most serious attention. First, some kind of preparation previous to our hearing the Word. Secondly, how we ought to behave ourselves in the house of God.Thirdly, a duty lying upon us after we have heard the Word. Recollection is what I mean, together with self-application and prayer.

1. Avoid as much as possible everything that may tend to dissipate the mind, and render it incapable of consideration and recollection.

2. Be not fond of hearing more than you can retain and digest. There is such a thing as intemperance in regard of the mind as well as the body: and if excessive eating may be as hurtful to the constitution as excessive abstinence, it is also true of the mind, that the hearing more than is fit may be very nearly as injurious as the not hearing at all. A great abundance of instruction poured into the ear, without sufficient intermission for reflection and practice, is extremely prejudicial: it confounds the judgment, overburdens the memory, and so jades the mind as to render it incapable of recollecting afterwards what it had heard, and of calmly deliberating thereon.

3. The making a point of retiring at the close of the day, for the purpose of recollection and prayer.

II. TO ENFORCE WHAT HAS BEEN SAID WITH SUITABLE MOTIVES. And our first argument shall be taken, First, from the decency and fitness of the thing itself. Secondly, let me remind you of the particular obligations you owe to those whose ministrations you attend. Thirdly, it is to be remembered that preaching is a Divine institution; and that they who are called to dispense the gospel, have, by virtue of that call, a claim to the attention of those to whom they are sent. Fourthly, from the momentous nature of the business itself on which we are sent to you. Fifthly, the necessity of consideration in order to our profiting by the Word. Sixthly, there are many obstructions in the way of this duty, the recollection of which ought to have the force of an argument to excite and animate us to it. Seventhly, the authority that enjoins this duty upon us adds infinite weight to all that has been said. Eighthly, and lastly, from the advantage to be expected from consideration.

(S. Stennett, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

WEB: He said, "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear."

Heedful Hearing
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