“Are you listening to this? Really listening?”
And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Mk 4:9–12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Jesus asks really loaded questions. They get to the heart of the issue. Jesus isn’t going to ignore what we are up to. Jesus is going to confront us. Jesus is going to let us in on the Kingdom. Now that is a big deal.
Am I listening to Jesus? Am I really listening? Honestly, many times I am not even trying. Other times, I give it a shot. Breakthroughs happen. The Spirit of God is my advocate for knowing more, even when I am distracted.
And there is this warning from Jesus (Luke 8:18):
So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.
In my heart, I beg for more. I do not want what I have taken away from me.
What is the big deal? Jesus gives me insight into the Kingdom (aka country) of God. Jesus lets me in on how things work. I don’t have to guess. Even if I don’t get it, Jesus is creating readiness, nudging me along. Jesus is patient. Now that is some Good News!
My goal is to listen to Jesus. Jesus is speaking to me. I have to quit talking and listen.
God has weighed in on this as well (Matthew 17:5).
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!