Can Jesus talk?
My three-year-old told me today that “Jesus cannot talk.” We tell him Jesus will not be happy with him when he gets into full-blown mischief, and he seems to understand. He says it often that Jesus will not be happy with him when he does something wrong. But He just cannot wrap his head around the fact that Jesus can talk. As an adult, how do I explain to this three-year-old that Jesus can talk?
I tried a very long theological explanation that, yes, Jesus can talk. Of course, that ended nowhere. Coincidentally we had just studied the story of Mary and Martha that week. Mary was sitting quietly at Jesus’s feet, listening to Jesus talk, while Martha was busy cooking, cleaning, and doing all the more “appropriate” stuff. But I still couldn’t relate how the Jesus that spoke to Mary and Martha was the same Jesus that could talk to my little boy.
As adults, how many of us listen to Jesus when he talks? How do we even hear his voice?
This generation has gotten so busy with everything else but listening to what Jesus has to say. We claim we want him to show us which job offer to take, but we secretly know precisely which one we want. We ask him to lead us, but ultimately, we follow our own paths and then blame Him when things go wrong.
This is a story I am sharing with permission from a very close friend of mine about a time Jesus spoke to her personally, and it changed the trajectory of her life. Before she got married, we all knew exactly what kind of man she was attracted to. When she was approached by a friend, who is now her husband, with a marriage proposal, she promised him she would pray about the answer. Yet, there was one problem. This guy was the exact opposite of all the things she wanted in a man. She was willing to listen to what Jesus would say, she prayed about it, but in her heart, the answer was already a no. She planned to say no to his proposal, not because Jesus spoke, but because he did not fit the characteristics she wanted in a man. Fortunately for her, against her wishes, she felt God’s leading to say yes to this proposal when she had planned to say no. They’ve been married for almost two decades now, and in her own words, “I am the luckiest woman on earth for saying yes to this man”!
Most of us are like my friend. We claim total surrender and abundance to follow God’s will to the latter, yet we will time and again choose those options that favor us. Then we find a verse from the Bible to help us “feel good” about our choices. Shame on us all.
When we get to the crossroads, Isaiah 30.21 tells us, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying this “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” For all significant life decisions, let us endeavor to seek the Lord’s will before taking the step. Moses was not willing to go anywhere without the presence of God. Let us be like this patriarch of ours, to be determined not to do anything without the absolute leading of God; “Then Moses said to Him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” Exodus 33.15 (NIV)
We may think we only need to hear God on the mighty big things like marriage, career choices, ministry decisions, etc. But let us engage Him in the seemingly “little” things in life- like what outfits to wear, what foods to eat, which school to take our children to, etc.
Let’s ask ourselves these three questions:
- Are we seeking God with all our hearts or only half-heartedly? Jeremiah 29.13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29.13
- Are we claiming to seek God’s will for our lives but secretly know exactly what we want? Psalm 44.21 says, “Would not God search this out? He knows the secrets of the heart.”
- When we spend time reading the Bible, do we listen to Jesus talking, or do we read our Bible ceremoniously? But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To follow is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15.22
So next time your three-year-old asks you if Jesus talks, how would you answer?
Or if you have older children, teenagers, young adults, how do you emulate to them that Jesus talks? Do you have personal examples that you can boldly tell your children of times when Jesus spoke to you directly and helped changed the course of your life in that area? Or of times when you disobeyed the Lord’s leading and faced the consequences?
Jesus is always talking. How well are we still listening?