Learning to Listen

n03120_learning

Please note: This product is a digital file. You will need to download the file to your computer and print it from your printer.

Age Group

Adult

Brief Description

“Pay attention to me” is perhaps one of the most overused phrases in America. We use it with our children when giving them stern directions or discipline. We hear it from our bosses when project plans and deadlines are reviewed. Teenagers often scream it at the tops of their lungs—without ever making a sound. The way we dress and act, speak and interact, look and present ourselves—in all these ways, we ask the world to pay attention to us, to listen.

Jesus was no different. He asked people to listen to him, too. Sometimes his words demanded his hearers’ very best listening skills. At other times, observing Jesus’ actions was enough to learn a valuable lesson.

In the first session of this unit, the Scripture reveals the inauguration of Jesus’ teaching ministry, his baptism, and his first temptations. He was able to overcome temptation, and through him, we can, too. His experience in the wilderness should have made it easier for his disciples to listen, yet as the story in Mark unfolds, the followers of Jesus often do not hear his words, and hence, suffer the consequences.

As we move on, we find that the transfiguration of Jesus is central to our study in session two, as a voice from the heavens cries out to the disciples, “Listen to him.” In other words, pay attention to him. As contemporary disciples, we are challenged to do the same.

Next, in our third session, Jesus begins to prepare his followers for what will ultimately happen to him, as well as how difficult it will be to follow him. These revelations were truths no one wanted to hear. Can we learn to listen even when we don’t like what we are hearing?

And as the unit concludes, we learn in the fourth session that Jesus’ actions speak louder than his words. In this text, when he does speak, he uses an Old Testament Scripture to help interpret his actions. In this story, Jesus acts on his convictions, which is disturbing to many. Let this final session push you to consider when you are convicted to act.

In our world—a place of activity, noise, crowds, and traffic—it has become increasingly difficult to hear one another. And for many of us, it has become nearly impossible to hear God. These lessons invite us to slow down, take a deep breath, and just listen. Can we find a place of quiet peace in our busy worlds and in our thought-filled minds to draw away for a moment and learn to listen?

by Virginia Barfield

User License
The purchaser of this file has permission to print twenty copies of this Learners Study Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

The purchaser of this file has permission to print one copy of this Teaching Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold, copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

Print Friendly