He took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. (Mark 10:32)
It’s something we’ve probably all done at some point: a friend confides in us from the deepest places of the soul, and the whole time we’re “listening,” we’re really busy mentally compiling a response. By the time the friend stops talking, we realize we’ve not truly heard the story, and suddenly our carefully crafted comeback sits in danger of not being appropriate.
Jesus took aside the twelve men who were his closest friends to tell them that he was going to suffer and die, and three days later, he would rise again. It wasn’t the first time he’d tried to have this conversation with them, and it hadn’t been received well earlier, either.
This time, after baring his soul, James and John were the first to speak up. They didn’t have words of comfort or understanding. They did have a request, and what a telling request it turned out to be: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask” (v. 35).
They hadn’t truly heard a word. They were two of just a dozen people privileged to know what weighed on Jesus’ heart, and instead of listening, caring, and asking questions that mattered, they piped up with their own agendas.
May we learn from the disciples and truly listen — all the way to the end — and respond with love.
Ask yourself: Am I really listening—or preparing to talk?
Bekah Shaffer is an alumna of Indiana Wesleyan University and enjoys endless coffee, scrapbooking, and adventuring with her husband, Ryan.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.