Theme of the Week: The Voice of Jesus
Bible Verse: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” Hebrews 1:1-2
Scripture Reading: John 10:1-21
A Christian is a person who has deliberately and eagerly decided to live by the Word of God. Holy Scripture makes the extraordinary assumption that God the Creator has chosen to speak to us.
In the Old Testament era this speaking was through the prophets; they were the mouthpieces of God. With the advent of the New Covenant, however, there came an astonishing transition, described cogently in the opening words of the letter to the Hebrews: “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
The life of God is found in knowing the voice of the Son – the voice of Jesus. God has spoken to us through Jesus.
The words of Jesus are the bread by which we live (John 6), the living water for which we thirst (John 7:37-38) and the light of the world (John 8:12). He is water, bread and light to those who listen to his voice. Jesus is the good shepherd, and so of course his sheep hear his voice (John 10:4).
This voice is powerful. Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out of the tomb and back from the dead (John 11:43). This same voice tenderly called Mary Magdalene by name in the garden following the resurrection (Jn 20:16). And on some level this is what we all long for – to hear Jesus call our names. We yearn to hear the redemptive words of Jesus that, in the words of the hymn writer, “calms our fears and bids our sorrows cease.” But more, we long to hear the voice of Jesus in the midst of the competing demands and expectations that we all face in the world and in the church. This is the voice that will give clarity, meaning and direction to our lives, enabling us to know who we are and who we are called to be. We somehow know that the voice of Jesus will enable us to live with courage and grace in a broken world.
As often as not, this longing arises when we face an important decision and yearn for God to speak to us and give us wisdom, direction and assurance in the midst of perplexing circumstances. The choices we make affect our lives and the lives of those we love; we long for the guidance of God. Further, in times of suffering and disappointment, we ardently seek to hear Jesus that we may know grace, comfort and hope in the midst of our pain.
The ability to discern the voice of Jesus is a critical spiritual skill, basic to our capacity to make vocational and moral choices. We can learn how to discern, how to listen for the voice of Jesus and how to speak of this voice within the community of faith.
Gordon T. Smith in The Voice of Jesus. Copyright ©2003 by Gordon T. Smith. Used by permission of Intervarsity Press.
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