This chapter illustrates HOW we listen to the gospel - the good news - the words of Jesus. There are many points which stand out in the passage, but for me, I am reminded to be careful how I listen. I must always listen with an ear to obedience.
Several types of listening are illustrated in this chapter. We see those who:
- hear without belief (8:12)
- hear with joy - but no root system is developed (8:13)
- hear with worries (8:14)
- hear with an honest, good heart, hold fast to the words, bear fruit with endurance (8:15)
- invisible light is pointless - so is hearing without fruit (8:16)
- laugh when Jesus speaks (8:52)
This listening matters. We are to "take care" how we listen. I want to be on who listens and holds fast; who bears fruit and endures. Don't you? Then we must listen with honesty. We must authentically hear AND then act. Jesus says those who are His family are those who "hear the word of God and do it." Interestingly, it's this listening with an honest, good heart - listening to act - which begins to build the root system we so badly need to mature and endure in our walk with Jesus.
It's not enough to intellectually believe.
It's not enough to hear in a moment of time....and do nothing more.
I must continue to hear. I must continue to obey and act on that which Jesus reveals to my soul and spirit.
So the question really is: Are you listening? HOW are you listening?
Living all of life before the face of God...