27 And he said, “I ask you then, father, that you may send him to the house of my father. 28 For I have five brothers that he may warn them lest they also may come to this place of torment.” 29 But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the Prophets let them listen to them.” 30 But he said, “No, Father Abraham. But if someone from the dead should go to them they will repent.” 31 But he said to them, “If if they did not listen to Moses and the Prophets neither will they they be persuaded if someone should rise again from the dead.” Luke 16:27-31 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Probably most of us tend to think that to hear something simply means that sound registers in our ears and brain, but even Webster says that it goes further than that: “to perceive or apprehend with the ear; to gain knowledge by hearing; to listen with attention.” Every parent has experienced times when their child says he or she hears what the parent is saying but does not really listen with attention.
In the passage I placed at the top of this post in my translation of v31 the word ‘listen’ translates the Greek third person plural verb ἀκούουσιν (akouousin) the present tense, active mood, indicative voice form of ἀκούω (akouō) which means hear, receive news, pay attention, hear with understanding. It is this word, akouō, from which we get such words as acoustics. It not only means to hear in general, but also to obey.