All Talk & No Listen

The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” (John 8:13) NRSVBlurred christmas lights

He did it again! Jesus just kept on making one incredible claim after another. First he said that he is the light of the world. Then he claimed to give the light of life.

But the Pharisees weren’t convinced. They were full of misgivings. They had questions, lots of questions. Sometimes I wonder why they couldn’t just believe what they saw, and take Jesus at his word.

Why couldn’t they just take Jesus at his word?

But the Pharisees had an obligation to question Jesus’ authority. Before Jesus, there had been many so-called messiahs in Israel. Some came with wild ideas. Others seemed driven to lead God’s people into a political rebellion.

The Jewish people had a long history of following after false religions and teachers, so the Pharisees had to keep a close eye on what was happening. They tested and evaluated all these self-proclaimed messiahs and their messages.

Wisely, the Pharisees recognized that a person making big claims was not necessarily a messenger from God. Just because a self-proclaimed messiah said something, that didn’t make what they said true. There had to be some kind of authority backing up whatever was being said.

Jesus agreed. That’s why he gave them a straight answer about his authority. Once Jesus made his authority and his connection to God clear, the Pharisees were still clueless. They had no idea who Jesus really was, nor did they even try to understand what he had come to do.

Clearly, the Pharisees weren’t listening. They questioned and condemned without first giving Jesus a fair hearing. Maybe they saw Jesus as a threat to their power, and to the well-being of the entire nation.MP900178784[1]

Today, I wonder if we don’t sometimes act like those Pharisees. We question God, but do we truly listen for God’s answer? We plead for God to show us the way, but do we open our eyes to see it? We pray for wisdom, but do we open our minds to receive it? We ask God to teach us, but do we open our Bibles to learn? We pray, “Thy will be done.” but do we make Jesus the Lord over our lives, and submit to his authority?

Ask, and then be sure to listen!

Jesus never ignored a good question. He never turned away a true seeker. But he had little patience for people who pretended to love God while judging everyone else.

If you are anything like me, you probably have many questions for God. The good news is that Jesus has all the answers! Not only that, Jesus is looking for people who honestly want to know God and live in the light of God’s Word.

So why not join me this week, and ask God about some of the things that have been troubling you. Seek God’s wisdom. Sit at Jesus’ feet and listen. As you do, keep an open mind, because Jesus’ answers may surprise you!

Seek and you will find!



You have the answer to every question. Your word is the true word. Help me to not just ask, but to listen to what you have to say. Then, give me the faith I need to follow your truth, and to live under the authority of Jesus Christ!


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