READ: Deuteronomy 4-6, Psalm 54, Luke 10, 1 Corinthians 10
THE PRIMACY OF HEARING
To listen is to live (Deut. 4:1). In fact, “this is our wisdom” (v. 6), to cultivate the ability to hear Jesus. Listening to Jesus is a discipline – there is a spiritual muscle in our ear that is strengthened by exercise. Hearing is part and parcel of the greatest commandment. Deuteronomy 6:1-4 unveils the greatest commandment by instructing: “This is the greatest commandment (v. 1)…Therefore HEAR, O Israel, and be careful to obey (v. 3)…HEAR O ISRAEL, THE LORD THY GOD, THE LORD IS ONE” (v. 4) (emphasis added). How crucial to understand that the first imperative of the Great Commandment is “Hear!”
Jesus speaks to us in various ways – some of them surprising. What Jesus speaks to us is enough. We don’t have to frantically seek other sources of input. “These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and in the thick darkness, with a loud voice, and He added no more” (Deut. 5:22). I love the parameter of Moses’ reminder: “He added no more.” We don’t need extra. God has spoken to us through His Word, and in these last days through His Son. We don’t depend on others or build tents for Moses and Elijah. Jesus is the beloved Word of God – hear Him!
Jesus loves it when we listen to Him. We are so distracted with serving that we forget to listen to Jesus (Luke 10:40). Jesus reminds us that “one thing is needed” – the thing that Mary chose to do: “Sit at Jesus feet and HEAR his word” (Luke 10:39). To hear is to be near.
Jesus loves it when we listen to Him because it means we are intentionally coming close to Him, tuning out other voices so we can concentrate on His. Some of the voices we need to tune out belong to other disciples. Sometimes we need to turn off the worship music, close the devotional book, put away the commentary, ignore the podcast, drape a towel over the television, and sit at Jesus feet – just to hear Him.
Go ahead now and listen to Jesus. Make it a habit to hear. To hear is to be near. God’s presence is His power. Close this book, shut off this electronic device, turn off your music. Get down at the feet of Jesus, just you and your Bible, and listen. This is the one thing you need.