(The first of several articles on the incident of Mark 2:1-12)
“When He entered Capernaum again after some days, it was reported that He was at home. So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the door way, and He was speaking the Word to them” (Mark 2:1-2).
Everything starts with listening.
Everywhere the Lord Jesus went, people flocked to hear Him. They covered hillsides and blanketed lakeshores. They packed out synagogues and homes, so intent were they on every word coming from those divine lips. “Never man spake like this man,” they said (John 7:46).
People of our generation prefer to speak rather than listen, to argue rather than to hear and believe. They want their wisdom reduced to sound bites, to bumper sticker phrases.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” says Paul in Romans 10:17. Faith in God is given to those who will hear His Word.
Really hear it. Not just register it or record it, and not just scan it. Take it inwardly and digest it. Think about it, treasure it in our hearts and meditate upon it.
You want faith? Want to know if God is real and Jesus is everything He claimed? Interested in checking out the Christian faith? Perhaps you are tired of seeing people slam Christianity while others glorify it and have decided to see for yourself? Good.
Start with the Word. The Holy Bible. Get into it and listen for God’s voice.
He makes you a promise: “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you…” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
I will be found by you.
God does not play games with those wanting to know Him. He’s not into hide-and-seek. He does not make Himself scarce when someone comes looking. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God, who has given us the best Heaven had, is not going to start holding out on us now.
He wants to be found by you. He makes Himself available.
Question: How does one go about listening to God?
—Put yourself in a place where you can listen. Turn off all distractions.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” —Blaise Pascal
—Quiet your spirit. Settle down. Do not be in a hurry.
—Now, open the Holy Bible. Where to start? Many recommend starting with the Psalms, and there’s much to be said for that. I love the Psalms. But to learn about Jesus and the Christian faith, you’ll need to begin with the New Testament. I suggest beginning with the Gospel of Mark, then going on to the Gospel of John. Then, drop back and begin reading the entire New Testament, starting with the Gospel of Matthew and continuing through areas you read previously, all the way through Revelation.