Speak, Jesus… I am listening!

They went out from there, and passed through Galilee. He didn’t want anyone to know it. For he was teaching his disciples, and said to them, “The Son of Man is being handed over to the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again.”

But they didn’t understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.        Mark 9:30-32 (WEB)

One of the questions I ask myself every time I write a devotion: “Is what You are saying to me, Lord, only for me or am I to pass this along?” Most days not everything is to be passed along. God is so – perfectly God – to be able to take His words and focus them through the power of His Spirit exactly into my heart. And I know He does this for many of you because you testify with your comments and emails and I rejoice when it is a little “nugget” that God delivers just for you!

Jesus did not give all teaching to everyone. In reading the gospels, we are told that only Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus to the moment of transfiguration, the raising of dead girl, and His most intimate time in the Garden. Here in this passage of Mark, Jesus is bringing His disciples to a time apart from the usual crowds to give them an important piece of prophecy. He tells them openly (and clearly) that He is going to die and will rise on the third day. Why wouldn’t they understand those words? Because it was not what they wanted to hear.

Jesus speaks to me like that, too. He speaks a truth to me. I say “I don’t understand” or I pretend it is not for me but “surely for that ONE over there”! If I cannot be nakedly honest with Jesus, then with who? Jesus is leading me down the path to growing, to healing, to learning which produces a closer relationship.

The disciples fear the truths and so they believe that if they do not ask, Jesus will not tell! If I don’t ask Jesus who knows the answers then who will I be trusting? Truth can be scary but truth from Jesus comes with the assurance of the One who speaks. Some would say that “Jesus doesn’t give you more than you can handle”. I actually think that I have received much more than I can handle on my own! When I allow Jesus to carry the most weight, I can walk through some difficult truths and hear His voice explain and speak to my heart. It is a relationship with dialogue. We discuss what He is saying. It is a wonderful, intimate experience.

There is no question that I cannot ask Jesus. I can ask the question and know that He will hear it better than I can say it and answer it better than I can imagine. We have ‘discussed’ here before how I need to be open to Jesus’ answer which may be outside of my expectation. The answer will always line up with proven characteristics of Jesus but it may stretch my plan. Jesus truly has the Big Picture and so my life must be flexible enough to move in the opportunities that open to be a tool in His Hands. WOW!

Let’s take time to ask Jesus to give us the courage to hear what He wants to say today. Gives us ears to hear and hearts to receive, Jesus, in Your name we pray. Amen.

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