http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Bjutnq62Au4/TCyuUUID9tI/AAAAAAAAA7g/VdD6WveaW94/s400/Listening3.jpg

Hearing

 

The disciples of Jesus asked Him to increase their faith. He didn’t. If we want our faith to increase there is a way: That way is hearing what Jesus has to say to us.

Matthew 10:27  “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.

This shows us that Jesus is planning to speak to His disciples, in private (in the dark) and in person (in the ear). Being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ is possible because He speaks to those who will listen to Him. What He says to us is worth passing on!

Matthew 12:42  “The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

Those Jesus was speaking to at this time were not interested in hearing what Jesus had to say. They wanted to know about what he said but that is not the same as hearing Him. The Queen of the South travelled hundreds of miles over dangerous terrain to be able to hear what Solomon had to say.  How much more should we desire to hear Him who has the words of eternal life.

Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”  He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. “And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’  “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; “for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

From this passage we can see that the Lord Jesus focus on speaking His truth to those who will listen, pay attention to Him. Rarely but occasionally He does speak to those ignoring Him but He may have to shout to get their attention as in case of Saul on the road to Damascus.

Matthew 13:23  “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Hearing the word that Jesus speaks to us is the only way to bear fruit in the kingdom of God.

Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”  

The voice from heaven identifies that which is of critical importance – ensuring we pay attention to what Jesus will say to or command us. More important than any project we might initiate ‘for God’.

Mark 4:21  Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?  “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. “For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

The light that is not hidden is the word that the Christ will share with those who will listen to Him. Jesus reveals His secrets to those who hear Him.

Mark 12:29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.

The beginning or first part of the first commandment is ‘Hear, O Israel’. Without hearing to start with, the rest of the commandment is wasted. Hearing is the first requirement.

Luke 8:19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.” But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

The Word of God made flesh is one with those who hear the word of God.

Luke 10:38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

This echoes the incident on the mount of transfiguration where Peter was distracted by his own plans to serve God by building shelters. One thing is needed – to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His word.

Luke 11:27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”  But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Again, people mistakenly putting value on service for God but God valuing pre-eminently the hearing of the word of God and keeping/doing it.

John 8:47 “He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

If we cannot hear God speaking to us, it is a sign that we are not of God. If this is the case, we need to repent – let go of our thoughts and ways – be baptised in the name of Jesus the Christ for the remission of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.. We then will hear the Spirit of Christ within us.

John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

We become His sheep when we are born of water and the Spirit, from above through repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus for remission of sins and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”  But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.”  But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”  But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”

If we want to have faith, we should understand that faith comes by hearing the word of God. If God says it to us, then we can know that it will come to pass. God had stretched out His hands to Israel – pleading with them to hear Him. Just as obedience and faith begin with hearing the word of God, disobedience and un-belief begin with a refusal to listen to God.

Galatians 3:2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?  Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—

If we want a continuing supply of the Holy Spirit and working of miracles let us pay attention to hearing the words o the Lord Jesus, knowing He is always speaking to us the words of eternal life.

Hebrews 3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,

Hebrews 12:25  See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,

Refusal to listen out for the voice of Jesus will have consequences. Bad consequences.

James 1:19  So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

What a wonderful privilege that Jesus should call us His friends and share His plans with us, daily, verbally. ets not squander the opportunity we have to hear Him.

Colin Thompson. Gateshead. England.

Comments welcome by email to colin@followingjesuschrist.co.uk

Other material on site at http://www.followingjesuschrist.co.uk/