God has given us ears to hear with and eyes to see with. With our ears, we hear the sounds of the world around us, the delightful cries of a child, the heartfelt promise of love from a spouse, the beautiful notes of a song. With our eyes, we see the amazing colors of nature, the incredible diversity in the animal kingdom, the beauty of the sun rising and setting. These things are a gift from God. Unfortunately, there are people in this world who are unable to hear or to see, perhaps because they were born without these abilities or lost them due to an illness.
God has also given us spiritual ears to hear with and spiritual eyes to see with. With our spiritual ears, we are able to hear the voice of God as He speaks words of comfort, wisdom, or even correction in our lives through His Holy Spirit. With our spiritual eyes, we are able to see all that God has done in and through our lives, to see the work of His hands in our lives. These things are also a gift from God. But just as there are those who are physically deaf and physically blind, there are also those who are spiritually deaf and blind. Because of sin, pride, or even a lack of faith, they fail to hear and see.
The lack of spiritual hearing and sight is a heart issue. After Jesus had spoken the parable of the sower, His disciples came to Him and asked why He spoke in parables (Matthew 13:10). Jesus responded by telling the disciples that they had been given the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, a knowledge that was not given to others such as the Pharisees and scribes. He explained that He spoke in parables because those outside of His followers were spiritually deaf and spiritually blind (Matthew 13:11-12).
Although they had eyes with which to see, they did not see, and although they had ears with which to hear, they did not hear or understand. This was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which said that they would hear but not understand, they would see but not perceive. Why? Because their hearts had become calloused (Matthew 13:14-15; Isaiah 6:8-10). When Paul traveled to Rome and spoke to the Jewish leaders there, trying to convince them of the truth about Jesus and who He was, some were convinced yet others did not believe. Paul quoted from the same prophecy of Isaiah that Jesus had spoken of. He then stated that the salvation given to them would be given to the Gentiles. Why? Because they would listen! (Acts 28:23-28)
Jesus told His disciples that their eyes were blessed because they could see and their ears were blessed because they could hear. Many of the prophets and righteous people longed to see what the disciples saw and to hear what the disciples heard, but because their hearts were hardened, they could not (Matthew 13:16). Jesus came to give sight to those who were physically blind and to enable the physically deaf to hear. He also came so that those of us who are spiritually blind and deaf would see and hear. But that spiritual sight and hearing begins with us, with our hearts. We need to open our hearts to Him. When we do, we will see and hear all that He desires for us to see and hear.