Summary: People who claim to not hear God speak may find the problem is they are not listening.
Mark 6: 1 – 13 / Do People Really Listen
Intro: Have you ever watched a movie that has English subtitles? Have you ever listened to the news when the words of a dignitary who doesn’t speak English are interpreted? Have you ever thought that perhaps the translator was saying what they wanted and not what the person actually said? To be a good translator, you have to be a good listener. The same is true of Christians.
I. Every Pastor and every teacher know the types or degrees of non-listeners: wide-eyed, starring-into-space, looking-at-the-floor, active, closed-minded, no-clue / pencil droppers are those who can sleep with their eyes opened wide holding a pencil between two fingers over the edge of the desk. When the pencil falls, they wake up.
A. Why don’t people listen? Already know what is going to be said. We’ve heard it all before. Just don’t care enough.
B. VSS. 2 & 3 – Social and intellectual snobbery – a person of questionable parentage – Who does he think he is? He was a “working-man”
C. “Familiarity breeds contempt.” – a saying that goes back as far as Pulius the Syrian in 2 B.C.
II. VSS. 5 & 6 – Results of not listening – Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth.
A. Unless God is in it, the effort will fail. No mighty act can be done without faith in God.
B. In an atmosphere of critical coldness or bland indifference, the most Spirit-packed utterances fall lifeless to the floor. --- “If there is no one there to hear it, when a tree falls to the ground, does it make a noise?”
C. Masonry, money in the bank, ecclesiastical furnishings can not only be obstacles to mission but substitutes for it.
III. VSS. 8 – 13 – Jesus instructions: 1) take nothing for the journey except a staff, 2) stay in one place at a time, 3) move on when people don’t respond.
A. Take nothing for the journey – Trust God to provide.
B. Stay in one place – focus on the job at hand which is giving and not getting.
C. Move on when people don’t respond – Put God’s word and work out there and let people choose to respond or not.
Conclu: How does a teacher or a pastor know when people are listening? --- People do! --- People who listen, do! --- Are you really listening? We limit how and when we will hear and recognize God in the world around us. God speaks and speaks and speaks and use our selective hearing. --- Where do you cut off god’s still-speaking voice in your life? Do you refuse to listen to those who believe differently than you? Do you refuse to listen to those who are younger than you? --- God may not come to us in forms we would prefer, but God is constantly seeking to be heard. The next time you take offense at someone or something, stop and think: could this be God trying to speak a word to me? --- GOD IS SPEAKING --- ARE YOU REALLY LISTENING!