Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. (Luke 8:18) A companion verse: And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. (Mark 4:24)
We do well to look again at this command of our Savior. I never want to forget it and I have it underlined in several Bibles. I must be careful when I read, hear, or study the Word of God that I not do it half-cocked. When the Word of God is being read, we should always focus our attention on it so that we “take heed” to what we hear.
Barbara and I read the Bible together every morning, Monday through Saturday and have done so for 31 years. Rarely do we miss. I also like to listen to the daily Bible readings we include in the Morning Minute. I click on the reference and when it opens, I look for the little speaker icon and click on it. It opens another window and Max McClean will begin reading. I adjust my earphones, close my eyes, and begin listening.
There is strong teaching in the Bible about “the law of use.” Not the Law of Moses, but about how we should hear the Word of God. Because God loves us, He gives us light and we are responsible to respond to that light. If we trample it underfoot, God respects our decision. If we don’t want His light, he will send no more and perhaps remove the light He has already given us. He is plenteous in mercy and slow to judgment and He will not force us to receive His gift of light and love.
Jesus was a powerful speaker to the masses who loved to hear Him speak. The leaders of the Temple sent their police officers to bring Him in and they came back without Him. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. (John 7:45-46)
He preached mostly outside on hillsides or even from a boat where the water would amplify His voice. He spoke in synagogues and to individuals. He engaged people in conversation in the streets. He broke up funerals and talked to people there. When He healed somebody, He talked to the people gathered around. The people also heard comments about Him as they mingled with each other in crowded places. The comments were divided in what they thought of Jesus.
One of the strongest points in His preaching was that He came from His Father and He was doing everything in accordance with His Father. If they could not believe Him because He had told them, then they should believe Him for the works sake that He was doing among them. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. (Joh 14:11) He told them: …I do always those things that please him. (Joh 8:29)
The issue that He was from the Father translated into the issue of moral authority. Their proper response was to submit to His authority. But some were determined not to do that. They could not withstand the drawing power of his public speaking and watching the miracles He did in public. They liked to watch Him. But watching Him for entertainment was one thing and submitting themselves to His message was a different story.
Jesus warned them, therefore, to be careful with what they had heard and seen. If they took care of what they had heard, more would be given to them. If they counted it as trivia and mere entertainment, the fruit of the message would be taken away from them and they would be able to understand nothing else. What warm feelings they may have had toward Jesus’ message would leave them. The result would be a cold, unmoved, stony heart that would not be able to believe and be saved.
He told them: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:44)
One day His disciples were baffled at His speaking to the people in parables that were above their heads and they understood nothing He was telling them. I think it well to insert the full account of this incident.
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Mat 13:10-17)
The first time I read these verses, it was sobering. Jesus only went through Samaria one time and encountered the woman by the well in John 4. She had just one shot at it. She grabbed her opportunity and made use of it. If God is showing you something today, better lay hold on it and not let it get away. Treasure it for the rest of your life and live your life by it. Walking with God involves three things: The Word of God, Prayer, and Obedience to everything God shows you. It will never change. Take heed how ye hear. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 16, 2017 – TUESDAY
A.M. 2Kings 15-17 P.M. John 6:1-21
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24:44)
Song for Today: Original Chuck Wagon Gang: Come unto Me (3:16) (Quartet & Guitar) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIHP77a73gk
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