Imagine this scene. You ask a politician a 'Yes or No' question. He rambles for five minutes sounding lofty. "Sir, a simple 'Yes or No'," you ask. "It is not that simple," he responds, and for five more minutes he tires you with irrelevant clatter. "Sir," you insistent, "'Yes or No'??" He harangues, "Your information flawed. It should be..." Eight minutes later, after a jumble of facts, figures, quotations, personal insights, and flag-waving patriotism, he finishes with an insinuation if you ask again you are un-American. You quit. You think, "Huh??"
You did good. The sensation of "Huh?" is from biblical hearing. Jesus tells us to listen carefully.
Here is information for your consideration.
1. The Greek word for "Take Heed" can mean to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, or understand.
2. Although usually translated "what", the word can be "who, which, or what".
3. "Hear", in the Koinea Greek, incorporates the ideas in #1.
How many re-writes could you make WITHOUT CHANGING THE MEANING?
Being Jesus' skilled listener requires,
- Searching for the message by hearing, or reading.
- Verifying the understanding as precise. Accuracy requires:
- Stripping away cumbersome extras or flowery detractors.
- Restating the pure version faithfully.
- Do more investigating independently, i.e. separated from message-giver.
- Thoroughly compare and contrast the pure version against an accepted standard. The Bible is THE standard in religion.
Following these constructs will guide you. You can know if any message fits Jesus' desires for you.
Why does Jesus want diagnostic listeners? Jesus said false Christ and apostles are present. They are effectively deceiving the best disciples. Because 'destructive heresies' are present. Because there are false prophets. Because of deceitful workers' transformations. Because listeners to inaccurate information spread wrong information. Impostors deteriorate continually, according to the apostle Paul. Paul's writings were to prevent disciples, like you and me, from being deceived "with persuasive words".
Regardless of your current religious convictions, be a quality listener to Jesus.