Listening is hard work. It’s so hard sometimes that certain husbands (and wives!) develop ‘selective hearing loss’! Parents yell at their kids: LISTEN TO ME!!! But has anyone ever given you instructions on how to listen? Truthfully, listening does not come naturally. We remember very little of what we hear. There is an entire industry devoted to learning how to be an active listener.
Not only that, there’s an app for that! The new Audio Aware app is made for the hard of hearing so that they can be alerted when danger approaches. It listens for you so as to be able to alert you to screeching tires, sirens, and other sounds that demand attention. Runners who have blaring music in their earbuds while running can also use it! Listening is not only hard work, it is essential for our safety.
“It takes a great man to be a good listener.” ~Calvin Coolidge
If it’s such hard work to listen to each other, do you think it would be easier or harder to listen to Jesus? In Matthew 17:1-9 there is an amazing story with a key teaching: Listen to Jesus! I see a few reasons why we should listen to Jesus here.
Listen to Jesus: He is Your Friend (Matthew 7:1). Jesus takes his best earthly friends to witness the spectacular transformation. These are the same friends he brings to the Garden to pray for him in his final hours. Do you regard Jesus as your friend? If you think you’re not good enough to be the friend of Jesus, listen to this description from Matthew 11:19:
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ …
If Jesus is the friend of sinners, that is good news to me. The friendship we have with Jesus is quite astounding, given how much Higher He is than us in every way. But Jesus did not come looking for perfect people.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. ~Luke 19:10
Jesus is your best friend. No other friend ever gave up so much or suffered so much for you. No other friend has prepared a home in heaven, and plans to take you there to live forever. Shouldn’t we be listening to a friend like that? Listen to Him!
Listen to Jesus: He is Eternal (Matthew 17:2-3). I love Paul’s description of Jesus the eternal Savior in Colossians 1:15-20. Everything we know is temporal … but Jesus is eternal. He always was, always is, and always will be. The most important thing in this life is not how far I can get up the social or economic ladder, what heights my career could take me, or how many people think I’m awesome! The most important thing in this life is to address the day that is coming for us all… when we step through the curtain of this life into another life. We need an ETERNAL Savior who can rescue us from our sin and death. No one can address this more than Jesus who was in heaven, came to earth to live and die for us, was resurrected and taken back up into heaven and coming again.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. ~Acts 4:12
There are a lot of great voices … smart people … but only One who has lived to the other side of death and tells us about it. That is Jesus. Listen to Him!
Listen to Jesus: He is God’s Son (Matthew 17:4-5). Great men of God …. Moses and Elijah. Both men who met God on mountains… who followed God through dark valleys… who died mysterious deaths. Both great leaders of Israel, powerful and faithful. But the Father said three things here about his son Jesus:
*I love Him
*I think he’s doing great
*Listen to Him!
Listen to Jesus: He is Merciful (Matthew 17:6-8). Jesus did not chide Peter, James, and John for their fear. He touches them – how awesome is it that Jesus takes the time to reach out and let them know He cares for them. He is gentle with them, knowing they cannot fully comprehend the scene they have witnessed. The mercy of Jesus is so needed by every one of us. Romans 6:23 presents two needful facts:
*The wages of sin is death. This is what we earn by our actions. No one is above it. This is more than just the consequences of our sin – we expect that. It is the spiritual reality that sin separates us from God and brings eternal death.
*The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. I want the gift God offers. I earn death but in His mercy Jesus Christ offers life instead. Grace is getting a gift we do not deserve. Mercy is withholding the punishment we do deserve. If you want to have a grace-filled and mercy-filled relationship with Jesus Christ: Listen to Him!
Five reasons why we should listen to Jesus. He is our friend. He is eternal. He is God’s son. He is Merciful.
Listen to Jesus: He is Risen! (Matthew 17:9) Such a mysterious instruction, but Jesus plants the seed for them to consider: he is going to die. He is going to raise up from the dead. The next thing they ask about is Elijah. I’m not sure they are listening! The death and crucifixion of Jesus wasn’t a mistake, a coroner’s error, nor just an unexplained mystery.
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. ~1 Timothy 3:16
Listen to Him! Listening is hard work – it doesn’t come naturally. On the mount of transfiguration we can see some reasons why we ought to listen to Jesus, now how do we plan to listen to Him? Spending time in His word? Spending time alone contemplating His teachings? Are we going to listen to Him speaking into the various areas of our lives? Perhaps some of those are areas where we have been practicing ‘selective deafness’ … Are you willing to let Jesus speak into your life right now?
Thanks for reading