Hearing & Listening

Day 5 p. 42-54

Palm Sunday. We all know what a joyous day this was, with all the people rejoicing and praising Jesus as He entered Jerusalem. However, unlike those that were there praising, we know what followed: the Lord’s Supper, Jesus’ betrayal, trial, crucifixion and resurrection from the dead. Jesus knew these things too, but when He saw Jerusalem, He wept for what He knew would come years later with Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus wept because He knew that even though He told the people about these things, they would not listen and change their ways. They would continue on their path and have to suffer the consequences.

Reading these pages, I see so many instances where Jesus told the people, either explicitly or implicitly, what was to come and the people heard, but did not listen. He told them of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, His own death and resurrection in three days, Peter’s denial and many other things, but they did not listen. Even when He was on trial before the Sanhedrin, they asked Him outright ““Are you then the Son of God? He replied, “You say that I am.”” Notice that Jesus did not say “I am the Son of God,” and yet the Sanhedrin only heard what they wanted to hear and they took His words as a confession. Pilate showed much more discernment, for when he asked Jesus “Are you the king of the Jews?” and Jesus replied, “You have said so,” he did not take this as a confession but went back out to the people saying, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

This problem of hearing versus listening is something we still struggle with today. Whether in conversation face-to-face or reading something off the internet, we tend to tune out the parts of the message we don’t want to hear and only listen to the ‘good’ parts. We are quick to make judgments based on what we ‘think’ we heard rather than what was actually said. Jesus tells the disciples repeatedly to, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41) Prayer is not just a river of requests flowing to God; it is meant to be a conversation in which both parties are fully engaged and listening to each other. I pray that after reading through these pages and seeing how many times the people heard but did not listen, that we will strive to become a people who hear and listen to what the Lord is trying to tell us.


About The Author

Abby Furlow's father was a Baptist minister, which meant she spent a large portion of her life in church. She came to a saving knowledge of Jesus when she was six years old during a mission trip her parents were leading. She has been actively involved in church ever since, helping lead worship and singing in choir.