Listen. Listen Now.
"If ever you were willing to listen, listen now!" Matthew 11:15
It's more than just being quiet while someone else is speaking. It is giving our complete attention and focus to something other than ourselves and our own thoughts or agenda. It is being directed completely away from ourselves. It involves being alert and fully engaged.
Few of us are willing to really listen. But, what was it Jesus wanted the crowds and John the Baptist to hear when He so emphatically said these words?
Matthew 11:6 records the answer. In The Living Bible translation, Jesus, speaking to John's disciples about John the Baptist, said, "Then give him this message, ‘Blessed are those who don’t doubt me.’” In the English Standard Version it reads, "And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
The word translated as "doubt" in the TLB and "offended" in the ESV is skandalisthē in the Greek transliteration. It is the word from which we derive our English word, scandal. Thayer's Greek Lexicon interprets this word, "to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority."
Jesus said this because even John the Baptist questioned His authority.
Matthew 11:2-3 says, "Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'”
Are you still questioning? Or, are you listening?
Listen. Listen now.
Blessed is the one who does not disapprove of Him and is not hindered from acknowledging His authority.