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Do You Want a Blessing?

Hearing and obeying God’s Word provides incredible blessings for the one who does so.

Jul 9, 2021

Do you want a blessing? Jesus specifically tells us how you can be blessed. I noticed this in my study this week and have been meditating on it. Notice what Jesus says:

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28)

When you place this in its larger context, it even gets better. Let me explain it to you today and better help you receive the blessing from it.

A Woman Cries Out to Jesus

As Jesus makes His way through the crowd, a woman cries out to Him. Listen to what she says:

And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” (Luke 11:27)

As one author explains it, “Praising his mother indirectly praises him: ‘Your mother must be so proud to have given birth to such a wonderful son.’” And no doubt Mary, Jesus’ mother, was blessed. In fact, Elizabeth proclaimed her as blessed among all women (Luke 1:42) and Mary said that she would be called blessed (Luke 1:48). Again, we would agree with this unnamed woman’s viewpoint and say, “Indeed! Mary was blessed to have Jesus as her son.”

But Jesus’ response draws our attention! Jesus responded, “But more than that…”

As blessed as Mary was to have the very Son of God as her child, Jesus says there is something even greater for both Mary and, by extension, for us as well.

A Greater Blessing

Okay, are you ready for this?

You and I would both heartily agree that Mary was blessed to have the very Son of God, Jesus Christ Himself, as her child. Imagine the joy and blessing that God would choose you over every other woman who ever lived—ever! I have a dear mom, a wife, two grandmas who have been high on the list of “best” moms; however, Jesus says that you and I can be blessed more than even Mary!

Not that I won’t let this go… but please consider this! How blessed was Mary? In the motherhood department, more blessed than any woman ever.

How blessed can you be? More so than Mary!

How do I know this? Because Jesus says so.

Jesus emphatically replied to the unnamed woman who pronounced the reality of the blessing on Mary with these words:

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28)

Understanding Hearing and Obeying

Maybe you are like my wife and read the fine print. I have learned to enjoy the fine print more over the years since I have been married; however, no where near as much as she does. That’s good for me—she catches what I don’t!

So what is Jesus’ fine print for this special blessing more than Mary having Jesus as a son?

You have to hear the Word of God and keep it.

Notice what one author wrote as he summarized Jesus’ teaching here:

Hearing and obeying the word of God were the sole criterion determining a failed from a robust harvest in the parable of the Sower (8:15). Hearing and obeying the word of God were the deciding factor between belonging to Jesus’ biological family or his true family (8:21). Hearing and obeying the word of God is also Jesus’ advice for thwarting the predatory nature of the demonic in human life (vv. 24–26). Discipleship is not simply about eliminating bad habits, but about filling the void with Jesus himself. Hearing and obeying the word of God as it is present in Jesus transforms life according to the criteria of the kingdom of God—and where the kingdom is present, there is “No Vacancy” for other kingdoms, dominions, and lords.1James R. Edwards, The Gospel according to Luke, ed. D. A. Carson, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Apollos, 2015), 348–349.

Hearing and obeying God’s Word provides incredible blessings for the one who does so.

For a similar teaching as you dwell on this truth, consider also these verses which teach a similar principle: Luke 6:47; Luke 8:15; John 13:17; James 1:22; Mark 3:34-35; John 15:14; Deuteronomy 4:6; Deuteronomy 28:13, 15.

What is the Extent of the Blessing?

A great follow up question is, “Well, what is the extent of the blessing we receive when we hear and obey?”

Jesus does not describe the entire extent of it in this passage; however, let me provide you a small list.

  • If you regularly read the Bible and obey it, it demonstrates that you are a child of God. Therefore, one blessing of hearing and obeying is eternal life. Those who are not His children will not continually read the Bible and obey it.
  • Hearing and obeying provides a clear conscience. In other words, you learn what Jesus wants from you and you do it. When you do it, this provides for you a clear conscience. You can say to Jesus, “I love you!” and mean it. Your works demonstrate it.
  • Further, hearing and obeying keeps you from all the complications of sin. This also is a significant blessing. You will not live under the burden of and through the complications of your own sins. Part of your blessing includes a guilt-free life without the unrighteous harvest from the unrighteous seeds you sow when you disobey the God.
  • As an added bonus, you enjoy God’s grace rather than have God’s forces work against you. His forces work against you in order to help you humbly submit to His will. When you hear and obey, you essentially draw near to God. You enjoy His presence.

This just gets us started. There are incredible blessings ahead for you if you hear and obey.

Do You Want a Blessing?

Back to our original question: Do you want a blessing? How about this: Do you want a blessing greater than being Jesus’ mother?

If you do, then hear God’s Word and obey it.

To hear it means that you read it, consider it, read about it, and listen to sermons/teaching about it. You strive to be a student of the Word of God and allow it to enter into your mind. You meditate on its meaning and think through its implications for living.

To obey it means that you do what it calls on you to do. You live consistently with it. The word itself means that you keep it or value it deeply. How deeply? Deeply enough to volitionally obey it in your thinking, attitude, affections, emotions, words, and actions.

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