As Jesus spoke in the temple courts and interacted with the throngs of Passover worshippers, Mark, the gospel writer notes the rapt attention of the listening crowd.
“The large crowd listened to him with delight.”
I wonder what the crowd actually did with what they heard. They ‘listened’ with delight but how many of them joined the crowd on Friday morning, stirred up by envious religious leaders, and cried out “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Never before have we had more opportunity to hear God’s word shared, preached, taught than in our inter-connected, technologically-saturated world. I preach or teach most Sundays of the year, and when I’m not giving out I’m sitting under the proclamation of God’s truth. As I head off shortly to worship with some of the family God has blessed us with, I’m pondering how I will listen.
Will I be…
a) like Job, who ‘treasured the words of his (God’s) mouth more than my daily bread (Job 23:12b)? or
b) like Jeremiah, who declared ‘When your (God’s) word came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty?” or
c) since I have “ears to hear” will I “hear” as Jesus urged those listening to him (Matthew 11:15)?
Hearing is one choice, an important one at that, for “Faith comes by hearing…” as Paul reminds us in Romans 10. But putting into practice is another choice I must also make. “Listening to him with delight,” must be accompanied by “being a doer of the word and not a hearer only.”
Perhaps through the proclamation of God’s word, I will have my perspective/thinking completely altered like David Brainerd.
This Day in Christian History notes the following
July 10, 1746 David Brainerd, colonial-era missionary to the American Indians, reflects in his journal, “I saw plainly there was nothing in the world worthy of my affection–my heart was dead to all below; yet not through dejection…but from a view of a better inheritance.”
Somehow I’ve been thinking of the chorus – “This world is NOT my home, I’m just a passin’ through…”