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Do you long for a day when people will hang upon the words of Christ? I do. If you're a Christian, I'm sure you also do. But doesn't this seem like such a distant, and if we are honest, even unlikely reality? The words of Jesus are increasingly disregarded. If there is esteem for Christ, most often it is more about what people think he feels and less about what he has actually said. Still, others see his words as a threat to their freedom and therefore, attempt to muzzle him come through discrediting him. Then there are others who are characterized by nonchalance. Jesus is important but not ultimate.

Don't you want all people to hang upon the very words of Christ like they are the words of life? I do.

I'm encouraged to pray, study, and preach like it could happen today. One reason is because of a scene in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus was making his way up to Jerusalem before his death. He has sent his disciples to the village to get the colt he would ride into the city as he is enveloped in the praise of the people (Lk. 19:28-40). Soon after he would display compassion through tears (Lk. 19:41-44) as he wept over the city and then power through force as he cleared the temple of their sacerdotal shenanigans (Lk. 19:45-46).

Following this Jesus continued teaching daily in the temple. What was the crowd like? Luke tells us the religious leaders were seeking to destroy him (Lk. 19:47) while a crowd of people was hanging on his words (Lk. 19:48). The sense of the word is they were hanging on his lips. It's as if they were suspended in the air, minds focused, ears open, clinging to every word that flowed from the mouth of Jesus.

I am not much of an artist. Actually, I'm horrible. But, I have a painting in my head of this scene outside the temple where the religious leaders are listening to Jesus while they are grinding their teeth and plotting his ruin. At the same time, a crowd is pressing upon him, with their attention fixed on his every word. What a striking contrast.

I long for there to be an increasing number of people hanging on Jesus words rather than aiming to muzzle him. I have confidence that God desires to draw people to himself through the Word preached. And I know firsthand that God likes to surprise us. He makes mockers marvel. He humbles the proud. He takes the strong and makes them weak. He eclipses our glory with his. And, he makes us hang upon his words.

Don't you want this to happen in your life, family, church, and city? I'm with you. So, let’s get to work in prayer and proclamation.

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Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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