As I read prayerfully through the book of Mark, it often seems as if Jesus is speaking directly to me. In Chapter 4, two statements caught my attention. This first is:
“And he (Jesus) said, ‘Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.'”
Jesus had been telling parables to a large crowd, and then further explaining the meaning to the twelve disciples. He wants them to not only hear what He is saying, but understand it and apply it. It makes me wonder, how often do I fail to pay “hear” the plain words of Scripture? How often does my mind wander during the sermon? How often do I fail to read a passage before our Sunday School or Tuesday morning Bible study? How often do I not bother to study something on my own because I as so “busy”? Not always, but often enough.
I take Gods’ Word for granted. It will always be there for me. Nobody will ever try to prevent me for reading it. My Bible will never be confiscated. I can always get to it tomorrow. If I fail to listen, or to read, there will be time later. Of course, I don’t know this to be true. Persecution could come, or I could die. I should be paying attention TODAY because it’s the only time I can be sure I have.
Not only that, these verses tell me a little more. If I don’t bother to really listen the Word, my understanding will not only fail to grow and mature, it will wither. I’ll be left with a childish understanding that is difficult to apply to adult life. I’ll have become a practical pagan.
The time is now. The words are clear. The results will be good. Pay attention!
For more lectio divina on the book of Mark see: