Today we will be reading from Luke 20: 1-8:
One day as he was teaching the people in the temple and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the scribes came with the elders 2 and said to him, “Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?” 3 He answered them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell me: 4 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” 5 They discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8 Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
One of the things that is always interesting to me about the Gospels is the number of people who listen to Jesus but really aren’t listening to Jesus. They are listening with some other purpose or motivation. They hear His words, but instead of taking them in and allowing those words to change their hearts, they are listening for some other purpose.
Take, for instance, today’s passage. The religious leaders are “listening” to Jesus, but they aren’t really. They want to trip Him up, or distract Him, or keep Him from doing the purpose God has sent Him for. They aren’t listening to Jesus to be drawn closer to God; they are listening for another reason.
Today, we have many chances to listen to Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. We have this moment here, right now, reflecting on this passage. We have opportunities throughout the day to stop, breathe, and listen. We have chances to listen to worship music, or read our bible, or just stop and meditate.
Yes, we are busy, but we have moments throughout the day to stop and to listen to Jesus.
Will we take advantage of this gift today? Will we truly listen? Will we stop? Will we pray? Will we listen? We are starting the Advent journey to Bethlehem. We will have a lot going on these next few weeks. It will get busy. We will be tempted just to go to work and not to listen.
Don’t do that. Make time to listen. Make time to pray. Make time to allow the Holy Spirit to work on our lives. The religious leaders, they never listened to Jesus. May we not make the same mistake.
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