Vol. 7, No. 06 – February 13, 2022
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says –Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22
Of all the teaching techniques Jesus used, it was the note listed above. I think He used it more than we know. It grabs the attention of the listener. It often followed a question and His response. It was used as often to indicate the value of His statements. He wanted to make sure no listener missed what was said.
When I went to seminary, I had to turn in sermon outlines. An introduction. Point one. Point two. Point three. Conclusion. Invitation. Jesus never got that message. I cannot find that outline used in His messages. Our lead pastor gives his messages in variety. Sometimes he uses three points, sometimes two points, and on rare occasions, one point. He is effective because the power of the Holy Spirit is present. An outline is not required to be effective, but the Holy Spirit is required.
One thing that is clear about the messages in Scripture is the requirement that to understand one must listen. Of course, the heart and mind are essential. In music, and in the Psalms, we run across the Selah, a pause. It is a think about it moment. Jesus is good at Selah’s. He knew exactly when to pause. What happened is that the hearer required listening to understand. It is a good methodology. Jesus also employed the technique as He walked along with His disciples. He expected their participation in the instruction process.
Hear. Give ear. Do you have an ear? Use it. Sometimes there are those in the church audience that begin to give ear, but the mind drifts, and the ear closes off. Some are caught snoring.
Hear is a pregnant word, it is to listen, and to listen continually. Did you know that a person can have ears and not hear? Thus, someone who is speaking needs to go the extra mile. I remember hearing about the preacher that came to the pulpit with a shotgun. He leaned it against the pulpit and proceeded with the message of the morning. He never mentioned the shotgun. And everyone there focused their minds, eyes, and ears to the front. Their ears did not waver from the subject at hand.
Jesus had His favorite ways of getting the attention of people. In my teaching through the Gospel of Mark, we noted the number of parables that Jesus uses. There was a reason for this. He responded to the questions of His disciples: to you, it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, it has not been given. (Matthew 13:11; Isaiah 6:9-10)
The Words of Jesus demand a personal dialogue with Him, a dialogue with His Word. What did you hear? What does it mean? How does it apply? Ask, then give Him an ear. Listen, for He has much to say that you need to hear. It is not opinion. It is the truth needing to be heard.
Like God the Father, Jesus is not our bell boy. His Words are expectant. Commanding. From grace. From mercy. From love. He is an exact representation of His Father. He can do no other. It is no wonder that those who walked beside Him hung on His Words, almost as if being spellbound.
Here is the One that the writer of Hebrews said: Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, who He appointed the heir of all things, through whom He created the world (Hebrews 1:1-2).
And there is more: He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the Word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3)
Men, women, and children have the opportunity to respond to the One who says if you have an ear, listen! It is an invitation. We are not coerced into responding. It is what Jesus wants, what the Father wants, and what the Holy Spirit wants. However, there is a choice that is left to us.
Many have refused. Sadly, many are still refusing. There are those we press to accept. They may not. It is a sad response, but it is theirs. Some we love deeply, but love does not work if it is not accepted. God’s mercy is available; it is His gift, but some refuse to hear of it. God’s grace is also available; chasing after the one who refuses to hear. This is a sad and tragic situation for those we love and want to spend eternity with.
God leaves us here to tell others of His great gift in Jesus. God desires a relationship with each one. God leaves us here to do the work of ministry. We are sent. As long as there are those who need Christ, God will continue to chase them with love, grace, and mercy. Yet there is coming a time when time is no more, and the opportunity for coming to Christ is gone.
Only the judgment remains for those without Christ. Time is of the essence. Our lives tend to be bound by the constraints of time. Take care of those who cross your path. You may not have an opportunity to speak with them again regarding their salvation. Therefore, let everyone hear. Pray for those for whom you are sent.