“And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘SEEING THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND HEARING THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND; LEST THEY SHOULD TURN, AND THEIR SINS BE FORGIVEN THEM.’ ” Mar 4:9-12
Turn is the Hebrew word shuv, Strong’s H7725, shin vav bet. In the ancient Hebrew pictographs, the shin is the two front teeth, and has the meaning of sharp, pressing, eating, two, or possibly, again (a second time). The vav is the tent peg, and means to secure, hook, or add. The bet is the house, so also, household or family. The parent from which this word is derived means to turn; so the mountain top meaning of shuv is to press in securely to the house, or to again secure oneself to the house. Shuv is the root of teshuvah, which is repentance.
The thing that stood out to me, is that anyone who turns around from the direction they are going, and begins to press in toward the house they have left, will be forgiven their sins. The house we have left, is God’s house, because history began with Father God, a beautiful garden, and the two children He had made to dwell with Him forever – to be a part of His household.
Now why then is the message of Jesus only for those who have ears to hear? Why is it only for those who see and perceive, or who hear and understand? Jesus was quoting a passage from the Old Testament, in which Isaiah saw a vision of YHVH, Creator of heaven and earth:
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.” Isa 6:1-4
Seraphim are a certain class of angel. They cover their face in the presence of YHVH, Creator of heaven and earth, because the weight of His glory is so great that it cannot be looked upon.
God allowed Isaiah to see a glimpse of Him in His majesty as He really was and is, and the picture that Isaiah paints of Him is unimaginable majesty, glory, and greatness. The LORD is greater than words can describe — but that even magnificent and powerful beings like seraphim dare not look on Him because His glory is so great makes a beginning at describing it.
David said that the mountains will melt like wax before Him, when His presence comes to the earth (Psa 97:5). In other words, the most enduring substance of this earth, the granite which serves as a foundation for everything else, has sense enough to recognize the greatness of His glory and majesty, and melts before Him. Angels recognize His greatness and glory. So what does mortal man do?
They have one of two responses. They can have Isaiah’s response, which is:
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” Isa 6:5
When we see the LORD in all His beauty and majesty, His greatness instantly throws our uncleanness into high stark relief. Isaiah saw the LORD’s greatness, and perceived his own filthiness in the light of it, and grave distress at his unclean state came out of his mouth unbidden.
When he saw and his heart perceived, he turned. The next thing that happened was:
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.”” Isa 6:6-7
First Isaiah saw, then he perceived, and perceiving, pressed again securely toward the Lord’s house (shuv), and his sin was purged.
The other response a man can have, is to see and not perceive, and to hear and not understand, and to keep going on as before, unchanged. They do not turn, therefore their sins are not forgiven. For everyone who turns has their sins forgiven and is healed!