I love a good story. The best stories leave us wanting to ponder what the point of it was. What was the author trying to communicate with us the readers or listeners. Jesus Christ was the master storyteller. After one story about what happened to the seeds a farmer sowed onto different soils, his closest friends asked him what it meant.
Jesus’ reply was “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” The listeners need to truly listen not just hear and move on. They needed to stop and ponder.
Jill Weber wrote (in her Lectio365 devotional) “It appears that in Jesus’ mind, listening and truly hearing are two different things. I wonder if I’m that different from his early fans? These days I skim articles, newsfeeds and scroll through social media. TedX speaker, Crystal Kadakia, calls it the ‘Digital Coma.’ Instead of dwelling, I visit, and briefly at that! Instead of gazing, I glance. Instead of seeking, I scroll.”
That’s challenging! So often I dip into the Bible, read it quickly and move on with the day. I’m learning to slow down, dwell, gaze and seek.
I’m reading and re-reading the shortest gospel Mark in the New Testament at the moment. I noticed that the word “amaze” appears a lot. I was tempted to fire up my browser and do a search to see how many times and which chapter and verse. But I realised that would be visiting, glancing, scrolling. So I have read and re-read, underlined and made marks in the margin. What people were amazed about Jesus and what Jesus was amazed at is intriguing. I’m not going to tell you how many times “amaze” appears or why. You’ll need to read Mark for yourself – and visit, gaze, glance and seek. It’ll be amazing!