Listening to understand is a discard from a nobler time. Imagine a whole movement based on setting the date of Yeshua’s return. Imagine libraries full of books of exegetical notes and the creeds of most groups adrift from the things one needs to get saved and live with confidence.
We have to stop pretending that we understand, especially when we have neither heard the matter nor have the ability to work with the texts nor the aptitude to interpret them.
Words to use with care
There are words that we abuse regularly to our detriment: totally, always, never, and true.
Isaiah 29:11-12 lights up this problem.
And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
Church leaders need to acquire the tools of make understanding happen and those tools are not materials that say the things we want to hear.
Practice: ancient and modern
Nehemiah 8:8 records that the priests and Levites read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
Luke tells us that conflict and blindness attended the preaching of the gospel.
For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them [the Scriptures] by condemning him. Acts 13:27
What Scriptures might we be fulfilling by putting Christ in second or third place?
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7