Summary: There are many "model" preachers and sermons in Scripture. Is there anything about "model" hearers?
Acts 10:33 MODEL HEARERS
Hearing can be a real problem.
An old couple was sitting by the fireside. He looked over at her, had a romantic thought, and said, “After fifty years, I’ve found you tried and true.”
The wife’s hearing wasn’t very good, so she said, “What?”
He repeated, “After fifty years, I’ve found you tried and true.”
“After fifty years, I’m tired of you too,” she replied.
There was an elderly man and his hard of hearing wife traveling from Memphis to Nashville. The trip was progressing along fine until they began having car trouble. Pulling into the nearest gas station the mechanic struck up a conversation with the old man.
"Where are you headed?" asked the mechanic
"Nashville." replied the man.
"What did he say? What did he say?" asked the impatient and virtually deaf wife.
"He asked where we were going and I told him, Nashville."
"Where are you coming from?" inquired the mechanic.
"Memphis," replied the old man.
"What did he say? What did he say?" again squawked the old woman.
"He asked where we were from and I told him Memphis."
"Memphis,." sighed the mechanic.
"I once knew an old lady from Memphis that was the meanest, rudest, ugliest, old bag that there ever was. She’s the reason I moved here."
"What did he say?” asked the woman.
"He said he thinks he knows your sister."
Oftentimes we don’t realize who is it that has the hearing problem.
A middle-aged man was distraught over his wife’s stubborn refusal to admit she had a hearing problem. One day he asked his family doctor for advice how to convince his wife that she has this problem.
The doctor promptly told him that when he got home he was to confirm the problem by opening the front door and from there asking his wife what’s for dinner. Then the doctor said, if she doesn’t answer, move closer to the kitchen. Repeat the question again, and if she still doesn’t answer, move right up to her ear and whisper in it, “What’s for dinner, honey?” In this way, the doctor assured him, she’ll have to admit she has the problem.
So the man raced home with joy in his heart and opened the front door. “What’s for dinner, honey?” he asked. When there was no reply he moved closer to the kitchen and asked again. “What’s for dinner, honey?” No reply. When he looked into the kitchen, sure enough, there she was. So he tiptoed over to her and whispered in her ear, “What’s for dinner, honey?”
Immediately she turned and looked straight at him: “For the 4th time, I said we’re having Spaghetti!”
There are many "model" preachers and sermons in
Scripture. Is there anything about "model" hearers?
The Bible is full of instruction and warning for the hearer. Many of Israel’s calamities came upon her because she would not hear Some of our Lord’s most solemn utterances had to do with hearing - not only "what" (Mark 4:24) to hear, but "how" (Luke 8:18) to hear.
Each of the letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation 2 and 3 ends with the injunction, "He that hath an ear, let him hear."
Just as the preacher should make proper preparation beforehand, so his hearers ought to prepare themselves, by prayer to God for keen ears, receptive hearts, and obedient wills.
This was the attitude of Cornelius and his friends as they waited for the coming of Peter (v. 24).
In the text before us we shall see -
I. PURPOSE OF GATHERING
There was some determination to hear. The people gathered to hear. There was full purpose and intent.
A. Based on obedience - "therefore"
Looking back to God’s command (v. 32).We are told that in obedience to the Lord’s direction, Cornelius and his kinsmen and near friends were met together to await the arrival of Peter. Here, then, was a ready made congregation.
We, too, have Divine injunction about "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" (Heb. 10:25).
B. Bolstered by promptness - "are we ... here present"
Peter preached all the better because his audience was waiting, not hurrying in at last moment and disturbing him and others.
C. Built through unity - "all"
Evidently included every one of the group who could possibly be present.
The whole of the man must be present; not the body here, and the heart, with the fool’s eyes, in the ends of the earth. THE WHOLE MAN WAS HERE.
There is nothing more delightful to a preacher than the privilege of preaching the gospel of Christ to people who are ready and anxious to hear it— who are all there!
II. PIETY AT GATHERING
God’s presence was realized - “before God.”
It is implied that they believed that God saw them, and that they were assembled at His command, and that they were prepared to listen to His instructions.