A Pierced Ear

March 1, 2020


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A Pierced Ear

“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Six times in the Gospels and eight times in the book of Revelation, Jesus repeats these six words. It’s the simplest of statements, but the implications are exponential. The exhortation is urgent, and I believe your destiny depends on it.

When Jesus declared, “Whoever has ears, let them hear,” the Jewish ear would have heard hints of Psalm 40:6: “My ears you have opened.” The Hebrew word for “opened” is archaeological, meaning “to excavate” or “dig through dense material.” I believe the way we do that is by listening with our inner ears. But the word for “opened” can also be translated “to pierce,” which has led many Bible scholars to believe that David was tipping his hat to an ancient ritual outlined at Mount Sinai.

After serving a six-year term, a Hebrew servant was set free in the seventh year. However, if a servant loved his master so much that he did not want to opt out of his servanthood, he was given the option of pledging allegiance to his master for a lifetime. How? By a sacred ritual that involved a pierced ear: “He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.”

Has your spiritual ear been pierced?

Is your inner ear consecrated to Christ?

Is the still small voice the loudest voice in your life?

The Latin word for obey is obedire, which means to “give ear.” Obedience starts with a pierced ear. It’s tuning in to God’s frequency and turning up the volume. It’s obeying His whispers, even if a thousand people are screaming something different.

“Tell me to what you pay attention,” said the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, “and I will tell you who are you.” You will eventually be shaped in the image of the loudest voice in your life—the voice you listen to most.

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books, including The Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, and Whisper. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.


  1. Courtney Draughon on March 3, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    Great teaching Mark! Thanks.

    Fav quote: “You will eventually be shaped in the image of the loudest voice in your life – the voice you listen to most.”

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