Lessons from Jesus

True Blessedness

Luke 11:28 – “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Among the crowd who had been watching and listening to the Rabbi, there was a woman who, I believe, was in awe of Jesus’ teaching. Unable to contain her adoration, she called out, “Blessed is the womb that bore you…” which was indeed a great compliment for his mother and was intended as such. Mary knew herself that she had been blessed of God and that she would be known as blessed, as she proclaimed in her song of praise: “For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed” – but there was no vanity within it for she precedes it by saying, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” Jesus did not want the woman in the crowd to lose the focus of his message and immediately redirects her thoughts by saying, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Jesus was not taking away from the fact that Mary had certainly been blessed by the Father, but he wanted to emphasis to the woman that she herself could receive God’s blessing by keeping His word.

I think the best explanation of what it means to hear the word of God and keep it is found in Matthew 13 when Jesus himself shows four different outcomes for those who hear. Firstly, there are the ones who don’t understand what they have heard and the devil swoops in and takes away that seed. Next, there are those who hear and believe the truth of the word but fail to become rooted in it. They endure for a while but when they are mocked because of their faith, they fall away. Then there are those who hear the word but are distracted by the lures of this world and are blinded to the truth and necessity of keeping God’s laws. The final outcome relates to those who hear the word, understand it, keep it and grow in it, bearing good fruit for all to see; they are the ones who find True Blessedness.

Reading God’s word and listening to God’s word is great and highly recommended, but that is only the beginning. The word needs to permeate every fibre of our being, changing our outlook and changing our attitude to the things of God.

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