Listening is Hard

On occasion, my wife has been compelled to ask if I was really listening to her when she was speaking. My usual retort is that I listen to every word that she says. Once after my defensive response she uttered, “You listen for a bit and then in your mind, you fill in the rest of what you think I am going to say…. That’s not really listening!” She was right, is right, will be right. I’m not a great listener and as I’ve come to realize, few people are. Why? Because listening, really listening is hard!

To listen I must give a payment or investment of my mind, my heart and my ear while closing my mouth. I must attend closely and value deeply the person speaking or I won’t listen very well.

On the mountain top with Peter, James and John, there appeared Moses and Elijah and a transfigured Jesus who, on this day, even looked like God. And while Peter was still talking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

Any audible voice from heaven would make anyone stop talking which it seems that Peter did as he and the others heard these words which combined the two images of Jesus as The Divine Conquering Son from Heaven (Psalm 2:7) and The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 42 & 53). This Divine Holy Son can accept dirty, flawed people like us because He is also the sacrifce. He is holy and He is gracious. He is the Divine Son, The Suffering Servant!

And the Voice Tells us to Listen To Him! The disciples had a hard time listening to what Jesus said to them. They had a grid for their understanding of who they thought Jesus was and they would discard or dismiss anything that didn’t fit what they already knew. So Jesus goes to the extreme attention-getting methods of Dazzling Divinity, Wonder Cloud and Heavenly Voice all because He wants them and us to listen to Him.

Often we think that just because we have become Christians that we have truly listened to Jesus. Peter and the disciples believed and were with Him everyday but they still didn’t attentively listen and understand what he was saying to them. It is easy to say that the Bible (which is God’s Word for our listening ear) is authoritative but if we don’t listen to it we are not living what we say we believe. To listen to Jesus, we must patiently sit and receive the Word from Him.

So here are a couple of questions to think about today:

  • In what area of your life are you listening to what Jesus says?
  • In what area of your life are you not listening to what Jesus says?
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