Whoever has ears to hear... Let him hear!Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
I imagine most everyone reading this will remember the catchphrase, “Can you hear me now?” made famous by Verizon’s TV advertising campaign in the early 2000’s. For nine years, actor Paul Marcarelli appeared in countless Verizon commercials, in all kinds of different locations, asking his imaginary conversation partner that all-important question and always receiving an affirmative answer. I can tell you from personal experience he would have gotten a different answer in Snow Camp, which is why I am now an AT&T customer.
While we can say with certainty that cell-phones were not on anybody’s mind in 1st century Palestine, that question was, at least as far as Jesus was concerned. Truly hearing what somebody else is saying has apparently always been a problem, especially between God and his people. In our passage from Mark last Sunday, Jesus uses the Greek word for hearing (sometimes translated as listening) thirteen times. He didn’t want his disciples to half-way hear what he was telling them. He wanted them to hear it completely, to internalize it, and to live their lives accordingly. But their spiritual deafness, i.e. their sin, was blocking the signal. Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection would eventually open up the lines of communication between God and all people. Even so, many people persist in their ignorance, refusing to listen to what God wants to say to them, preferring instead to listen to other voices that appeal to their sinful natures.
Brick Church, let’s receive the gift of hearing that God wants to give us in Jesus. God is still speaking—still calling, convicting, challenging, guiding, encouraging, and comforting. Let’s respond with, “Yes, we can hear you now,” and “Yes, we are listening.”
— Pastor Geoff