To whom or to what are you really listening in your life? Where do you get the direction and vision for your behavior, your goals, and your plans? Many are not listening carefully to the Bible, either because they have accepted a low view of what the Bible actually is, or because other voices command their attention. Here are some reasons why I believe we should listen to God and his word.
We should listen to the Bible because of the claims of Jesus. Jesus clearly claimed to be sent from God. As the one sent by the Father, Jesus said that he was speaking the very words of God. When the crowds in Jerusalem argued over his identity and his teaching, Jesus said, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.” Jesus claimed that his words were the rock on which a solid life is built. He claimed that his words would judge the souls of men in the last day. If these claims are true, we should listen to Jesus above all others.
The voice from heaven compels us to listen to Jesus. After Peter’s famous confession, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain to pray. During that time, he was transformed before these disciples. His face and his garments shone with light. A cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the loud said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased! Listen to Him!” The miracles and the teaching of Jesus already had the disciples wondering if Jesus was “the one.” The voice from heaven confirmed that he was the fulfillment of prophecy and we must listen to him!
If that was not enough, the resurrection confirmed forever that we must listen to Jesus. His tomb was empty! He appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the ten, to Thomas, to the disciples by the sea, to 500 brethren at once, to his brother James, to Peter, and last of all, to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road. The empirical evidence of Jesus’ resurrection was so compelling that people were forced to realize that they must listen to him. The testimony of the apostles compels us to listen to Jesus!
On Pentecost, there was a mighty wind, the visible tongues of fire, and the miracle of the apostles speaking languages they had never studied. These things compelled people to believe that they were the genuine ambassadors of the risen Christ. These eyewitnesses were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The ancient church recognized that by listening to the inspired testimony of the apostles, they were listening to Jesus. Jesus told his apostles, “Just as the Father sent me, even so I send you.” When we listen to James or Peter or Paul or John, we are listening to Jesus.
The only way to really listen to Jesus is to listen to the words of the Bible. Listen, and allow the word of God to direct your life in every aspect. Listen to Jesus concerning your attitudes, your behaviors, your responsibilities, and your priorities. The only way to really listen to him, is to pay close attention to the writings of the apostles and prophets in the Bible and do what they say.