Scripture: John 8:25 (The religious authorities said to Jesus) “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all? 26 I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
Observation: As was often the case, Jesus was speaking in riddles of sorts. He said, “…the one who sent me is true” but doesn’t say explicitly who sent him. He said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he…” but doesn’t explain what he means by this. Because of this, the religious authorities don’t understand him, yet many of the common people do. They have been given ears to hear and understand what Jesus was saying.
Application: One of the greatest barriers to people reading the bible on a consistent basis is the difficulty in understanding scripture. The language used and the cultural references are foreign to most of us. Maybe you’ve experienced that frustration. Wouldn’t it be nice to have “ears to hear” what scripture is saying? Three things that can help a great deal.
First, the more you read the bible, the better you will get at understanding it. This is especially true if you follow a reading plan that takes you through the entire bible, not just parts here and there. The ENTIRE bible. May take you a couple of years to do it, but you’ll never regret it. I personally follow the Moravian Daily Texts which can be found here http://www.moravian.org
Secondly, I recommend finding a good bible “commentary”. A commentary supplements your reading of scripture by giving you background and explanations of what you’re reading. I like electronic commentaries because they’re easily searchable. I personally get my bible resources at http://www.logos.com. Yes, it will require a financial investment as their resources are not free, but they are the best available in my opinion.
Finally, ask the Lord for grace to understand the scriptures. Frankly, this is the most important of the three recommendations here. I can assure you, this is the sort of request to which our heavenly Father is eager to respond.
Prayer: Gracious God, we want to be more like those who heard Jesus’ words and understood him, but often we’re more like the religious authorities who didn’t get it. Open the ears of our spirits to not only comprehend you word, but obey your word as well. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.