One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
Does anybody listen anymore?
Watch a debate or a group of talking heads on television. Listen to talk radio. Volume, intensity, and anger are all at new, higher levels. Yet, have you noticed that no one, and I mean no one, is listening to anyone else?
People don’t listen anymore. They all have their playbook memorized, their pat answers at the ready; ready to pounce, not waiting for the other person to even pause. Forget about waiting for the other party to come to the conclusion of an idea. The approved approach is to walk all over. Talk all over everyone else. Don’t let them up for air. Keep them down where they belong.
But here we have someone different. Not certain he would make it today, but he did back then with Jesus.
This teacher of the law was well schooled in the scriptures. He had also been trained in how to think logically. On his toolbelt was the ability to tear a person and their arguments apart.
But even though he had this at his disposal, he does something different.
First – he came. He wasn’t satisfied with second-hand accounts. He came so that he could see and hear for himself. He invested his time and energy to check this out. He thought and felt that personal observation and a personal encounter with Jesus were well worth it.
Second – he heard. He actively listened to both sides for an extended period of time. He didn’t just drop in for a moment. He didn’t audit a class so that he didn’t need to take a test. He didn’t buy the Cliffs Notes version. He didn’t fast forward through the audio, or play the video at twice normal speed. He took the time, attention, and energy to listen.
Third – he noticed. He didn’t have the conversation on in the background while he did something else. He gave both sides his attention. He didn’t play favorites with the side he favored or was most comfortable with. He noticed what they said. How they said it. How the other side responded.
Fourth – he asked. After watching, listening, observing, and thinking, he asked a question. He didn’t jump to any conclusion; he didn’t dismiss anyone or anything. He didn’t condemn anyone either. Asking a question is the highest form of:
After all, this is how God responds to us. If you doubt me, check out God’s reaction.
· Fall of Adam and Eve – Genesis 3:9-13
· God answers Job – Job 38
The conclusion by this teacher of the law is that “Jesus had given them a good answer.” And because of this, he wanted to ask Jesus a question. He wanted to get to know more about Jesus. And not based on a second or third hand account.
No, getting to know Jesus, meeting Jesus, is intensely personal. You can’t delegate it to your parents, teacher, preacher, spiritual advisor, or even the internet. You have to do it for yourself.
I cannot think of a more worthwhile use of our time than to connect with Jesus. See if he’s all he claims to be. After all, someone who said the things he said should be taken seriously.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.
Shouldn’t getting to know Jesus be at the top of your priority list today?