I think that many people in the world today DO actually have “ears to hear,” but because there is a conflict between their inner (hearing) being and their outer mind, they have tremendous problems TUNING IN. In other words, many people today do indeed have the inner readiness to receive the Living Word from the Spirit, but because their outer minds have been so programmed by graven images (be they religious or more materialistic in nature) they tend to often REJECT the truth with the outer mind without truly considering it with their Spirit-given intuitive faculties.
To elaborate; many people today (especially Christians) have been programmed to compare any new idea or teaching to a “database” of their existing beliefs, rejecting anything which contradicts or goes too far beyond what they currently accept as truth. Yet, if you are quick to reject anything new to you, then you are NOT receiving God’s kingdom with the innocent mind of a little child, and therefore you cannot “inherit” the kingdom, for God’s kingdom cannot be crammed into any man-made mental box. In other words, beloved, in the way that is described above (in this paragraph), many people today are GETTING STUCK in a particular state of consciousness.
The dynamic presented here is pretty simple – the hearing ear is ALWAYS listening for things that are beyond one’s current state of consciousness, and the childlike heart is ALWAYS ready to receive things that are outside of the currently established mental box. If you haven’t noticed already, a big part of my job is CHALLENGING people to think outside of their currently established mental box. This can be a pretty thankless job.
Along these lines, consider here that in Jesus’ day he presented something ENTIRELY different from what was accepted by the established religion of the day (Judaism), and also consider that there were no printed Bibles or churches with clearly defined doctrines for people to follow. In other words, following Jesus when he walked the Earth was NOT for the faint of heart – it was NOT for those who needed the safe-boundaries of a well-defined religion and who therefore preferred to follow the crowd in the established “truths” of the day, but rather, following Jesus was for SPIRITUAL PIONEERS who were abandoned to Christ to lead them and guide them in what was largely UNEXPLORED SPIRITUAL TERRITORY for human beings.
On the flip side; it seems that Jesus was often REJECTED in his day by certain people because they felt THREATENED by the fact that he pointed to a DIFFERENT way to live, a more INTENSE form of life. These people simply wanted to continue living as their forefathers had done and they saw no need to adopt a more or different spiritual lifestyle – them preferring comfort-ability over spiritual PROGRESSION and in this way them choosing to live among the religious dead rather than them entering the ranks of THE VIBRANTLY ALIVE in Christ.
Other people felt THREATENED because Jesus’ preaching went far beyond the established religion of their culture – them having become rigidly established in the accepted traditional teachings, even as most Christians today have become RIGID and UNTEACHABLE and settled in their religious ways. People then (as now) felt that they were safe and “saved” by belonging to an outer religion and they did not want to think for themselves (OR HEAR FOR THEMSELVES!) about religious matters. They wanted to be TOLD what to believe so that they could believe their salvation was guaranteed.
Jesus messed with them though, for he taught that people had to find salvation WITHIN themselves by connecting to the Christ within them, and he said that people would NOT be saved simply by belonging to an outer religion and following all its doctrines and rituals, but that there was another INNER WAY which men must follow. You can probably see why this freaked some people out and INFURIATED others.
Yeah, Jesus sure did mess with people’s wineskins back then, and he is still doing that today, by the Spirit. How’s your wineskin doing, by the way?