While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.’
Luke 9:34-35 (NIV)
Read: Luke 9:28-36
Consider: There are many non-Christians who think that it is good to listen to the teaching of Jesus, especially as regards love. The problem, of course, is that they see Jesus as a great moral teacher, or as a wise man who spoke words of wisdom. They do not acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God, the promised Messiah. Nor do they think they are under any obligation to accept Jesus’ teaching and put it into practice in their lives every day.
What does God say in today’s reading from Luke’s gospel? He says: ‘This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him’ (Luke 9:35). God leaves the disciples in no doubt as to Jesus’ true identity. This affirmation is important because it is in stark contrast to what the world says about Jesus. When God says about Jesus: ‘Listen to him’ he is not asking the disciples to listen if they think it is a good idea, He is giving them a command; something that they are required to do.
When the teachers of the law and the chief priests sent spies in an attempt to catch Jesus out, we read that they said: ‘Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth’ (Luke 20:21). Here were the religious leaders of Jesus’s day who recognised that what Jesus said was true and based on Scripture, yet their future actions would reveal that they had decided not to accept his word, but rather seek to kill him.
There are many voices in the world that compete for our time and attention. While many will be innocent, being a distraction for a short time, there are others that the Devil will seek to use to divert attention away from what is of eternal importance. What about you? Do you listen to what Jesus says and then put it into practice in your life? Have you allowed yourself to be distracted by things that seek to draw you away from your relationship with God?
Maybe your response is that what Jesus said was relevant some two thousand years ago, but not as relevant in our time. Have you experienced the Bible coming alive when you read it? Jesus himself said: But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come (John 16:13). So we should listen to what Jesus says in the Bible, but also what he says to us through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. If we are prepared to listen, he will enlighten us.
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand (Matthew 7:26).
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.(James 1:22).
Pray: Father, may our lives be so in tune with you that we willingly put Jesus’ teaching into practice. Keep us free from distractions that seek to pull us away from our relationship with you. May your Holy Spirit guide and enlighten us as we study and meditate on your Word. Amen
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