18th September 2021
1 Timothy 6:13-16
Psalm 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5
LISTENING AND HEARING
The Parable about the Sower shows the different ways Christians respond to the Word of God, that is the Gospel or the Teaching of Jesus about the Kingdom of God. The Word of God is the same and it comes from the Generosity of God Himself, but the ways we respond to It are different.
Jesus teaches us that the effective reception of His teaching is “Listening” not “Hearing”. Sadly, this “path of hearing” is becoming more and more prevalent in our world today. In fact, many struggle with listening, we are usually just hearing. We may hear, but hearing is not the same as actually listening. What is the different between the two?
Hearing is a passive action, consequence of our auditory system; it unwillingly captures the sound around us as a reflection to external stimuli that happens faster than any other sense. Hearing is simply an act of perceiving what happens without attention or interest. It is accidental, involuntary and effortless.
But listening is the conscious processing of the auditory stimuli that have been perceived through hearing.
It means paying attention or being aware of the situation. Listening is focused, voluntary and intentional.
The same in our daily and Christian life, we often have much to do, many places to go and things to occupy our attention. As a result, it can be difficult for many of us to actually receive the Word of God into the depth of our hearts where it can grow and bear fruits.
Luke gives us four possible ways in which we hear/listen to the Word of God in which some of us are like a , some like , others like a and some are like . There is the possibility of growth for the word of God in the three of these ways of listening, but not on the path.
How do we respond to the Gospel? Is hearing enough? What should we do to make the Word of God fruitful in our lives?
The Path is the worse soil, stepped by everybody even animals. The seed just remains on the surface.
Therefore, there is no possibility of growth. This is about the people who love their sins and will not repent and convert; no matter how often they hear the Word. The Word will not be able to get root because they do not have interest in the Word of God: the Word of God is irrelevant for me, It does not touch me.
The rock is about the people in hardship and struggle of life who stop praying because life is just discouraging, life is so hard. They hear and receive the Word with joy and excitement but when challenges come because of the trodden path rocky ground bed of thorns rich soil word of God, they just get offended, bored, give up, and drove up.
The thorns are the people who are double minded hearers; being busy, preoccupied by two kingdoms: of God and of the World. They have faith and persevere in it but do not detach from the worldly attachments and values.
They truly want God but at the same time they are so concerned about the world, they are seeking the kingdom of men and this chokes the kingdom of God that is growing in them.
Good soil is about listening the Word of God, accept it, apply it in life and make it fruitful. These are people who allow God’s Word working within them and make it grow.
This is the way Christians are to live the Word of God. Listening to the Word of God needs obedience, effort and patience to make it fruitful in our daily lives. Our soil is good if we are determined to make the kingdom of God the focus of our lives and to let go the desire the attachment of the world.