The greatest prophet who ever lived spoke to His generation about the good news of the Kingdom of God. Of that prophet’s work, these words seem to sum up how many of those who heard Him responded: “But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him.” (John 12:37).
This is, of course, the Savior-Jesus Christ. In chapter 8 of John, verse 43, Jesus said to some of the Jews: ” ‘Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to LISTEN to My word.’ ” But these weren’t just any Jews. In verse 31 of this same chapter, we learn that He was speaking “…to those Jews who believed Him.” However, they dismissed what Jesus taught, and we see in verse 59 that these who once believed “…took up stones to throw at Him.”
At the first, these Jews-along with many of their countrymen-found Jesus to be a great attraction. After all, they thought He might just be their promised Messiah. And though He indeed was, they were unable to recognize Him as fulfilling that role. They had so shaped an expectancy into the way they interpreted the Word of God that when they heard the truth, they rejected it!
Peter, James and John were able-in vision-to see Jesus in the kingdom. What was further revealed to them at that time was something they were to do relative to the Son of God-they were to ” ‘…Hear Him!’ “
People have from time to time been in a position to hear the truth. The children of Israel heard the voice of God. Yet, they immediately turned to idolatry. Solomon, although God appeared to him twice in vision, later turned away from God.
However, we can also look to ourselves and our own generation. The truth of God has flowered in our time with many hearing the good news of the Kingdom of God. We, too, must be on guard to not take what we hear for granted or to turn away from what is true.
Paul spoke prophetically of a time to come when people-people who hear the truth-would have “itching ears.” He showed that the reason for this was that these people would put their own desires first, and because of this, they would not continue to listen to “sound doctrine.” (Cp. 2 Timothy 4:3-4).
We are further warned in Hebrews 4, verse 7, ” ‘Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.’ “
Just as does all of God’s Word, the voice that the three disciples heard speaks to all Christians for all times-and especially those of us upon whom the end of this age now falls–“Hear Him!”