Summary: Max Lucado wrote a very good book by this title which gave me the idea for this series. God loves us the way we are, yet he loves us too much to leave us that way. The heart of Jesus is a listening heart and is lead by the hand of God
Just like Jesus part 2: Ears to hear
Jesus tells a story about a seed scatterer and soil. MT 13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear."
JAS 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.
About 8 times throughout the Book of Revelation Jesus says these words He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. In this passage Jesus uses that same phrase, He who has ears let him hear. The heart of Jesus is a listening heart.
In this parable Jesus using allegory, The seed= the Word of God, The Soil=our ears. Some of us have ears like that hard road, we refuse to let the Word in, unreceptive to the Word. The rocky soil is those who have ears that are hard, we hear but we do not let it take root, our ears are unreceptive to the Word of God and do not let it change us. Still others have ears like a weed patch, we are listening to too much stuff, there is too much competition going on for our attention to let that seed grow. Then there are those who have ears that hear, attentive, discriminate and ready to hear God’s voice. In all these cases the seed is still the same Word of God, the sower is the same sower, it is the listener who is different. 75% of the “listeners do not hear” or should I say 75% of the hearers are not listening. Each of these cases has ears, but they are not all listening.
Pilate was like that, he was told by his wife “have not to do with that man because he is innocent. Jesus himself told Pilate “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me.” But Pilate like the 75% of the listeners has selective hearing. It was the voice of the crowd that prevailed that day. When God throws his seeds our way, what do we do? When was the last time we gave God a portion of our time, undiluted, uninterrupted time of listening to Him? Jesus did so everyday. MK 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Jesus often went off to a solitary place to pray. If Jesus felt the need to do so, why don’t we?
Jesus not only took the time to pray, but also in God’s Word. Now we don’t see the Gospel writers telling of Jesus taking out a parchment and reading it, but we do see Jesus using scripture to answer critics and to answer temptation. The picture of Jesus is that he knew his way around scripture, well of course He wrote it. He is the Word of God. If we are to be like Jesus we need to have ears that listen. Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” James 1:25 “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.” If we are to be Just like Jesus we must have a regular time in prayer and Bible reading.
Now don’t tune we out. I know some have tried Daily Devotions and Bible time, but we have become too busy, too distracted, too overworked to have a consistent Quiet time. I’ll just listen to the preacher and draw from his experience, after all that is what we pay him for. If that is your approach your spiritual experiences are secondhand not firsthand. You are eating regurgitated food. We don’t do that with other areas of our lives why do it with our Spiritual lives. We don’t send someone on vacation for us to tell us what it was about so that we don’t have the hassle of traveling, packing, and that. We don’t have someone experience Romance for us and tell us about it, there are some things we must experience for ourselves. One of those is spending time with God.