The Importance of the Word

Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 8:1-21; SOAP / Luke 8:21

But he replied to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

Luke 8:21 NET

As I was reading back through my notes on verse 21 and thinking about how to put what I had journaled into words, the words from an old church camp song came flooding through my mind. I don’t remember all the words but it included several verses about not being able to get to heaven on roller skates, or in a rocking chair, or with a limousine. If I could add one verse to these after reading today’s passage, it would be “Oh you can’t get to heaven by who you know.” That’s the jest of today’s passage and Jesus’ response to His mother and brothers desire to see Him. Actually, the commentary I read said they were concerned for His health and wanted to take Him home to rest. However, being in the middle of a very important lesson for which a very large crowd had gathered no doubt influenced His answer. No disrespect was intended only the need for them and all who were listening to understand that, first and fore-most He was God’s son and thus it was those who were “hearing the Word of God and doing it” that bore the truer family-ties.

So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

Romans 10:17 NLT

More than once in sharing the Gospel with someone or in response to asking someone if they are a believer, I have received answers like – “Yeah, I’ve been baptized and go to church every Sunday”, or “I’ve always tried to live the good Christian life”, or “well, I don’t go to church any more but my mom and dad took me every week when I was growing up …” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that those who answered like that aren’t saved but we certainly can’t hang our hope of salvation on going to church or living a good Christian life. Salvation comes through faith alone in Christ alone, and as Paul wrote – faith comes through hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We are saved by grace through faith – not church, or baptism, our good works, our ‘knowledge’ of Jesus, or our earthly family ties.

It is worth noting and perhaps helpful to understand that Jesus’ response to His mother and brothers came shortly after His sharing the parable of the sower. A lesson on a sower and his seed and the responsibility of those who hear the Word to let it penetrate the heart and bring about good works. The lesson is the same for His mother and brothers. They cannot depend on who they are to Him but must respond to who He is to them.

Sandwiched in between the parable of the sower and and the response to his family came a brief statement about letting your light be seen. This follows the teaching on the seed that landed on the good soil – defined as “the ones who, after hearing the Word, cling to it with an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with steadfast endurance. One commentary explains it like this:

the meaning of Luke’s verses seems to be that listeners are to be like the good soil, accept the seed, and produce fruit (Luke 8:8). In the same way, people are to “enter” and “see the light,” working hard to understand the truth and application of Jesus’ teaching (Luke 8:18). on Luke 8:15-18
Some Application: Turning facts into action (or knowledge into wisdom)

I feel like I am constantly learning more about who Jesus is and who He has called me to be. So I loved seeing that even though Mary had the personal knowledge of who He was, backed up by the angelic announcement, she was still learning more about who He was, what it meant, and how to deal with it.

We don’t get to heaven because of who our family is or what they believe – but solely because of what we do with what we hear in the Gospel. For example Romans 3:23, 6:23; John 3:16, 6:47, and 13:34.

Response to God’s Word

Father, I have heard Your Word all of my life and I believe … You are Go, the Father-make of heaven and earth. I believe You so loved the world – me included – that You sent Your only son to live and die for me. I believe He lived a spotless life despite the pain and temptations He faced – He stayed TRUE to living out Your will for all to see. I believe He was born of the virgin Mary, and that He intercedes for me at the right hand of Your throne and is able to forgive my sins. I believe He left examples and instructions on how to live and that You have empowers me, as a believer, with the Holy Spirit so that I might live as You have called me to live – the same Spirit who teaches me all things and reminds me of everything You’ve said. He also convicts me of my sin and leads me to repentance. I believe in the Holy Spirit, and pray that I might be always yielded to His teaching, leading, and conviction toward repentance. In Jesus’ name I pray – Amen and Amen!

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