Devotional Reading: John 5: 19-29. Morning Psalm–27; Evening Psalm 126
Text: I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. (Jesus, John 5:24)
A frustrated supervisor came into my office and sat down. After talking to one of his direct reports he said, “He doesn’t listen. He simply doesn’t listen.” An exasperated partent asks their child, “Aren’t you listening?” Implicit in “listening” is “understanding” and “doing”. In our text for today Jesus said that those who do His work of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and dying, and visiting the imprisoned are forgiven of their “sin”–of their inherent brokenness and the they cause because we cannot escape the fact that we are less than perfect. Jesus also said that by listening we pass from death to life. What a curious phrase.
At various points in the gospels Jesus told his disciples that if they wish to save their life, they will lost it, but conversely, if they lose their life for His sake and the gospel’s they will find their life. And in the so-called parable of the prodigal son, the son “comes to his senses” when he remembered not only who he is, but whose he is. When the father saw his “lost” son returning home, he told the servants to celebrate for his son who was lost is found and who was dead and is now alive. It strikes me that we can be spiritually dead throughout life. We are only truly alive when we are engaged in the Risen Lord’s work.
Today, listen for the voice of Jesus. Commit yourself to discipleship. To the glory of God.
Lord God, thank you for your forgiveness that is given even before I know my need. Give me the ears to hear your call and the will to do your work. Amen.