January 08, 2021


Mark 4:1-3

He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! . . .”

—  Mark 4:2-3

Our lives are filled with distractions, and often we like it that way. Many of us also like background or white noise that can help to distract us from distractions! With all the noise that fills our environments, it can be hard to hear what we need to hear, and difficult to learn what we should focus on.

Jesus was a brilliant storyteller. He told stories from the life and culture of the time, and he filled them with meanings that were at once simple and profound. But unless you were able to truly listen, they were just stories.

Apart from God’s giving us the insight to understand, the result will be that Jesus’ parables are just stories, his miracles are just amazing, his crucifixion is just tragedy, and his resurrection is just whatever you make of it.

As a leader calls people to attention, Jesus, with the authority of the Son of God, urges us to listen in a world that seeks to distract us from the truth. He calls us to see through the obscuring fog of life, to filter out the noise in order to hear the voice of the good shepherd as he teaches us about ourselves and our lives.


Dear Lord, help us to listen to your voice and to hear what we need to know and to believe about ourselves and about you. May we look forward to hearing you speak to us. Amen.

About the author — Douglas MacLeod

Rev. Douglas MacLeod is a church pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as a pastor for over 36 years with five congregations in Michigan and Iowa. He and Cathy, his wife of 40+ years, are grateful for their three children and four grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!