The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.
Our Hero Has Ears to Listen
If I were to ask a 4-year-old what a hero is like, he might mention that heroes are powerful, brave, and smart. I imagine he’d describe how a hero saves people—and usually does so in a dramatic fashion. We frequently see Jesus do “hero things” in the Bible: reaching down to pluck a drowning Simon Peter out of the water, calming a raging storm, raising Lazarus from the dead. Those events would be worthy of treatment on the silver screen, accompanied by dramatic orchestral music appropriate for such heroic acts.
Our Bible reading for today is not this kind of scene. No one is saved from immediate peril—no one dead becomes alive again. No miracle happens, no jaws drop in awed, wide-eyed wonder. And yet, when we look closer, we see Jesus still doing hero things—things that are perhaps less dramatic but no less heroic.
Take, for example, what he does with his ears. He listens when it would have been so much easier for him to talk. Jesus’ disciples had just returned from the mission trip Jesus had sent them on. You can easily picture the disciples going on at length about their work for the kingdom, telling stories about the challenges they faced and the successes they’d found. Of course, they were reporting their accomplishments to the One who is the master preacher and teacher. So this would be like me proudly reporting to Peyton Manning that I played high school football. Or excitedly telling Rachael Ray that I’m pretty proficient at making Kraft Mac and Cheese.
How easy it would have been for Jesus to smile and dismiss them in a patronizing or condescending way! But he didn’t do that. He took in every word and accepted their imperfect work gracefully. He listened because he cared. He cared about them and about what they were doing.
His ears remain attentive to our words today. He still listens to us because he cares about us. So don’t hesitate to share your joys and challenges, your frustrations and accomplishments with him in prayer. Our hero has ears to listen.
Dearest Jesus, friend and hero. You are never too distracted to listen or too busy to help me. Give me ears like yours that I also may patiently listen to those who need to talk. Amen.