Has anyone told you lately that you need to be a better listener? They might have—but you might have missed it, because, well, you weren’t listening!
Jesus said that nobody lights a lamp and puts it under a bed. Instead, you put it somewhere that it gives light to the whole house. That’s a simple enough idea. Have you ever noticed what he says after he makes that illustration? “Take care then how you hear, for the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away” (Luke 8:18)
“Take care how you hear.”
It occurs to me that I’ve preached far more lessons about watching our words and being careful about what we say, than I have about our responsibility to hear well.
A lot of the people who met Jesus didn’t listen. Sure, they heard the things that he said. But they immediately rejected them. Or twisted them. Or mounted up a defense against them. Or maybe they were just too busy talking about him to even hear him. To the Pharisees and Sadducees, Jesus was a lot like the grown-ups are to the children in Peanuts. When he spoke words of life, they heard “wah wah wah wah.”
How do you think Jesus would describe your listening skills?