“Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” — Mark 8:17–18 NIV
Eyes To See and Ears To Hear
God blazoned the announcement of the coming of Christ across the heavens for anyone to see who would see and sent heralds to sing and shout for joy to anyone who would hear…but who was it who listened to His song? Who came in response to His call? Most were clueless. One young, faithful Jewish girl and her betrothed, a plain, average carpenter, were willing to be a part of God’s plan, against all reason. The outcast, lonely, rejected, despised, and poorest of the poor — shepherds who worked the night shift — paid attention and heard the song of God. That’s it. They did not hear and see because of their religious acumen. They weren’t leaders or influential people. They had no power or money or status. What they did have was an open heart, a willingness to see and hear.
The Clueless Leaders
The religious leaders all thought they were doing just fine. They thought they had it all figured out. They thought they knew what God was doing, but they were clueless. The Jewish leaders saw the Messiah through their presuppositions that He would be a military leader who would wage war to free them from Romans rule, so when a poor baby showed up, they missed it. King Herod saw the birth as a threat to His reign, a usurping King to take his place, so he flew into a rage and killed anyone that could be that threat. The wise men followed the signs in the stars, but like Herod, believed it signified the birth of a new and mighty earthly king; they paid homage but never really understood why. None of them really knew who Jesus was. No one foresaw the cross.
While men hoped for a general to lead them into battle against worldly occupiers, or a king to rule over them against other subjugators, God devised a completely different strategy, one that sought to reclaim the heart, save the spirit, and restore relationship instead of rule.
Are We Still Clueless?
So, my question is: are we still just as clueless today as they were over 2000 years ago? Do we really know Who Jesus is? Or do we also misinterpret His intentions, His love, His character and His nature, and the reason He came? As Jesus asked His disciples, “Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?” (Mark 8:17–18).
If we truly grasped the depth and meaning of the advent of Christ, and if we embraced in our hearts His love expressed for us through His coming, we would overflow with the feelings expressed by the psalmist each and every day:
Psalm 100:1–5 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Let’s approach our celebration of the advent of Christ with new eyes, open ears, and a renewed heart, filled with joy, gladness, thanksgiving, and praise for what His birth means for us. May we hear and respond to His call to our hearts to come and see the King of Kings.
This devotion originally appeared on Devotable written by Donna E. Lane
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