What does Matthew 11:15 mean?
ESV: He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
NIV: Whoever has ears, let them hear.
NASB: The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.
CSB: Let anyone who has ears listen.
NLT: Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
KJV: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
NKJV: He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Verse Commentary:
This statement sounds like a platitude or a figure of speech that would be tacked on to a wise saying: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." When Jesus says it, though, it is a clue to go back and look at what He has just said. Those with ears should review Jesus' words, because He has just given them a clue that His prior statements are important.

Those listening only on a surface level may have only heard Jesus praise John the Baptist and hold him up as the fulfillment of the prophecy that Elijah would return (Malachi 4:5). Yet, in saying this, Jesus has really claimed to be the Messiah Himself. He's saying that John the Baptist prepared the way for Him. After all, Malachi's prophecy was God saying that "I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes." That means that Jesus is claiming the title of Lord and announcing that He has arrived to bring about the day of the Lord.
Verse Context:
Matthew 11:1–19 deals with John the Baptist, who is in prison at this point (Matthew 4:12). John sends his own disciples to ask if Jesus is really the Messiah. Jesus gives them an answer and then upholds John to the crowds. He reminds them of John's strength and affirms that John was the prophet who fulfilled the prophecy about the one who would prepare the way for the Messiah. This generation, though, rejected John's message of repentance, saying that John had a demon and that Jesus was a glutton and a drunkard. Jesus insists He and John will be proved right in the end.
Chapter Summary:
John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask if Jesus is really the Messiah. Jesus gives them a specific answer to use to reassure John and then upholds John to the crowds. John fulfills the prophecy about the one who would prepare the people for the Messiah. This generation, though, refused to hear John or Jesus, deciding John had a demon and Jesus was a glutton and drunkard. Jesus condemns the cities that refuse to repent and thanks the Father for revealing the truth to little children. He offers rest for those who are weary and burdened.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 11 follows Jesus' instructions to the apostles about taking His message and miracles to the towns of Israel with His own continued ministry of teaching (Matthew 10). Jesus answers a question from John the Baptist's followers, and upholds John's ministry. Jesus condemns several cities in Galilee for rejecting His teaching, despite obvious signs. He thanks His Father for hiding the truth from those who arrogantly think they are wise. He offers rest for those who will take His yoke. This leads to further confrontations with critics, recorded in chapter 12.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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