Eager to Listen

Each day, Jesus kept on teaching in the temple. So the chief priests, the teachers of the Law of Moses, and some other important people tried to have him killed. But they could not find a way to do it, because everyone else was eager to listen to him.     Luke 19:47-48 (CEV)

As I was reading this chapter in Luke again, it struck me that once again Jesus knows what I am going through right now. That His example, His teaching is still relevant today. Here I am reading that the leaders of the church wanted to silence Jesus. They wanted to kill Him because what He said was not what they wanted and the way they wanted things to be run. And how did Jesus oppose them? He didn’t try to legislate His teachings. He did not work to make His teachings the government sanctioned teachings. He didn’t work to put His disciples into positions of power. He didn’t try to overthrow the government. He didn’t even speak negatively about the government! In the one passage where He speaks specifically about the government (Matthew 22:21), Jesus tells the people that their allegiance to God is more important than their question of taxes, which is the question that they had brought to Him. And so I am meditating on my allegiance today and how I live my allegiance that would encourage everyone else to eagerly listen to Him.

Abortion. Children were treated like and were slaves. They were often treated worse than a horse. What did Jesus do? He touched children. Spoke to them. Said that all should have faith in Him like a child. That whatever we did to the least, we did to and for Him. So if we provide homes for these mothers, tangible support that gives them an alternative to abortion, that sounds like a way to be the Good News.

Prayer in schools. If I had a “mulligan” (a do-over) for my years as a parent, it would be showing my children in our home routine that praying before meals, before studying for a test, before bed, before anything was so important that to not do it would seem strange. And that no one can stop them from praying in school. No one can tell them that they can’t bow their heads and pray before their lunch or a test or a game or pray for a classmate or teacher who needs it. I would want my child to lead a prayer when it was needed, not a teacher. It is my job as the parent to teach my children about God, just as it is my job to teach them morality and ethics. Every student at some point learns to disagree with what is taught to them. I was in sixth grade when a teacher told me, in front of my whole class, that I was going to hell because I went to church with my father. This was in a private religious school that, as the years went on, taught me many things that were just plain unbiblical and not of God. It’s part of growing up. I didn’t talk enough about my faith when my children were young. I rejoice because they have learned from my mistakes.

Israel. Somewhere in the 1980’s I realized that the government, the legislature, of the country that I love and am so blessed to live in, was seriously “off the rails.” By that I mean that the ideals and passion to “form a more perfect union” had somehow gotten lost in the powerplays and games of special interests. It was the young men and women of my generation that got drafted or served in a war that had no high ideals but was motivated by only politics. If we believe, as a disciple of Jesus, that we should be supporting Israel, then let’s support Israel no matter what our legislature thinks. I have two friends that know many people in Israel and so we can raise money and help them assist people right there, right now. My mind can’t imagine what might happen if the Good News – the compassion, kindness, outpouring of tangible goods as well as “We are praying for you!” – was sent like a loving flood. What a different message that would be!

Instead of trying to “reinvent the wheel” in our faith, let’s just keep it simple and yet powerful and do what Jesus did – share His Good News. Yes, that involves our mouth but we only have one mouth but two eyes, two ears, two hands/arms and two legs. Maybe we should our mouths only half as much as the other parts. Let Jesus do more of the talking. Let’s do whatever creates an atmosphere where more people are eager to listen to Jesus.

Make Me a Servant from Psalty & Kids’ Praise #4

 

 

 

 

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