Hearing is Not Enough #3

Saturday, January 7, 2023

“And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (Luke 10:39 KJV).

Is hearing the Word of God enough?

Mary says nothing about Jesus’ power to raise her brother from the dead (John 11:32), although Martha indicates she believes Lazarus will live again through Christ (verses 21-27). While both women were Messianic Jews, their mortal weaknesses become evident when we study the Bible text. In today’s Scripture, Mary heard Jesus’ words while Martha was off preparing food for her special Guest! One lady was sidetracked, but eventually expressed spiritual wisdom (Martha). The other woman, although once listening to Jesus teach, ultimately was pessimistic and bitter (Mary). Their brother Lazarus was dead now, but Martha, unlike Mary, heard and believed sound doctrine.

Commenting on ancient Israel under Moses several centuries prior, Hebrews chapter 4, verse 2, relates: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Indeed, the Israelites in Egypt heard Moses and Aaron preach God’s words and saw them work miracles to confirm that Word throughout Exodus chapters 4–14. By the time the Jews crossed the Red Sea, they were singing sound Bible doctrine in chapter 15. They knew, unquestionably, the LORD had saved them from mighty Pharaoh and his formidable army, and He was now bringing them to His land (the Promised Land). Note especially Exodus 15:13,16-18: the “LORD’S house” is the land of Canaan, and they expected Him to live with them in a kingdom (see “Immanuel/Emmanuel,” “God with us,” in Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, and Zechariah 8:23) once they arrived. They heard the Word, and (!) they (!) even (!) sang (!) it (!), but they did not believe it (Hebrews 4:2)!

Once Israel reached the Promised Land, their unbelief was made manifest. Read Numbers chapters 13 and 14 carefully. Heeding the advice of Satan’s messengers, Israel grew too discouraged to enter Canaan and the LORD God subsequently destroyed all those hundreds of thousands of unbelievers over the course of 40 years. Yea, “The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Hearing the Word of God is not enough….