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Holy Spirit’s Workshop [www.holyspiritsworkshop.com] – 03.06.


Listen To Jesus

What is the only command given directly by the Father to the disciples?

Jesus spoke many things during His time on earth, the Father spoke lots to the Israelites, and there are a
few specific times the Holy Spirit spoke, but there are only four times in the Gospels that it is recorded
that the Father spoke. (To teach John the Baptist how to recognise Jesus; 1 at Jesus’ baptism; 2 on the
Mount of Transfiguration; 3 and just after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem4) Each time He spoke, He
endorsed Jesus, but there is only one time that He told anyone to do anything … It would follow that this
is of great importance.

“This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”5

Why is this small verse within the mass of what was spoken within the Gospels and within the whole Bible
so significant?

Almost the first words spoken by Jesus in the Gospels, He replied to the devil, saying: “It is written: ‘Man
does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”6 Man’s life is
in the spoken words that come out of God’s mouth. While we refer to the Bible as the Word of God (and
rightly so, because “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and
training in righteousness…”7), contained within all of those words are words that have been recorded as
spoken by humans, angels, demons, Satan and by God. We are told that it is by the words that actually
come from the MOUTH of God, spoken by God, that man shall live.

If we have a look through the Bible, we see a picture that reveals the significance of these words.

In Exodus 15, the Israelites have just crossed the Red Sea, delivered by the mighty hand of the Lord,
when He drowned the Egyptian army behind them. Just three days later, the Lord said, “If you listen
carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to
His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the
Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”8

This is the first time God revealed Himself as “I am the Lord who heals you.” It is preceded by a
condition – “If you….” In Exodus 20, at Mt Horeb, the Lord first met and spoke to the whole Israelite
community and gave them the Ten Commandments. The Israelites were afraid of the Lord and refused
to listen to His voice, choosing instead for Moses to listen to the Lord and then tell the Israelites what He
said.9 Although they promised to obey, they were not even able to keep the first command (which they
did hear from the mouth of God for themselves10) for 40 days while Moses was getting a few basic
guidelines for living and instructions for the tabernacle.

For the Israelites, the Lord adds a longer and longer list of conditions to this as they continued to
grumble, complain and disobey Him. This is the Levitical Law, or Law of Moses. The rewards are
dependant upon following the Lord’s decrees and obeying His commands.11 The Lord said, “But if you will
not listen to Me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject My decrees and abhor My laws and
fail to carry out all My commands and so violate My covenant, then I will do this to you:….”12 He repeats
these conditions in verses 18, 21, 23 and 27. So the punishments come as the result of not
listening to His voice and being obedient. The history of the nation of Israel bears witness to the
generosity of God’s blessings for obedience and the severity of God’s hand on a disobedient people.

Moses prophesied about the Prophet (Jesus).13 He said, “The nations you will dispossess listen to those
who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.
The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers.
You must listen to Him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the

John 1:33-34
Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22
Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35
John 12:28-29
Matthew 17:5
Matthew 4:4
2 Timothy 3:16
Exodus 15:26
Exodus 20:19
Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 5:22
Leviticus 26:3
Leviticus 26:14-16
Deuteronomy 18:14-20

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Holy Spirit’s Workshop [www.holyspiritsworkshop.com] – 03.06.2006

assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see this anymore, or we will
die.” The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from
among their brothers; I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I
command him. If anyone does not listen to My words that the prophet speaks in My Name, I
Myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in My Name anything I have
not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.” ”

Jesus Himself bore witness to the fact that He speaks the words of His Father. Jesus gave them (the
Jews who wanted to kill Him) this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He
can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”14 “My
teaching is not My own. It comes from Him who sent Me.”15 “When you have lifted up the Son of Man,
then you will know that I am the One I claim to be and that I do nothing on My own but speak just
what the Father has taught Me. The One who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I
always do what pleases Him.”16 “For I did not speak of My own accord, but the Father who sent Me
commanded Me what to say and how to say it. I know that His command leads to eternal life.
So whatever I say is just what the Father has told Me to say.”17 At the last supper, Jesus said to
His disciples, “Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? The words I say
to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work.”18 “He who
does not love Me does not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong
to My Father who sent Me.”19

Jesus also confirmed the need for the command to “Listen to Him”, when He stated, “The man who
enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep
listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all
his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they
will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a
stranger’s voice.”20 He goes on to state that He is the Gate and the Good Shepherd. We learn to
recognise Jesus’ voice by a continuing practice of reading His words and taking the time to listen to Him.

Mary, sister of Martha, was commended as having chosen the better thing when she chose to sit at His
feet and listen to Jesus.21 It is also significant that she was the only one who knew that Jesus’ death was
near, as she anointed His body for burial before His crucifixion.22 She was listening to Him and heard
what He had been saying about His death, so she was able to do something exceptional for Him. This act
was so loving and significant that Jesus Himself commended her for it, saying, “I tell you the truth,
wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of

Let us take a closer look at the Mount of Transfiguration.24 The circumstances tell us a lot. Those
present were Jesus with Peter, James and John, the three closest of His twelve disciples. Then Moses
and Elijah, two of the greatest men of the Old Testament, arrived and were speaking with Jesus about
His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.25 While they were all there, a
bright cloud came and enveloped them, and the Father spoke to them from the cloud, “This is My Son,
whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”26 This one statement from God the Father
contains both a decree: “This is My Son, whom I love” and a command: “Listen to Him.” It was given
to the three closest disciples, two of whom would be instrumental in building Jesus’ church after He had
ascended. It is interesting to note that the Father made no mention of listening to Moses (and the Law)
or Elijah (and the prophets), and He did not instruct the three disciples to listen to each other, or to
discuss amongst themselves what they thought about what Jesus said (or about anything else, for that
matter!) The command is so simple and small that it has been forgotten and largely overlooked as the
ONLY thing the Father requires of us as Christians/disciples/children of God, living under the New
Covenant. There is a real exclusiveness about this. Jesus’ words are the plumb-line by which we
measure every other word because He is the Truth, speaking the truth.

John 5:19
John 7:16
John 8:28-29
John 12:49-50
John 14:10
John 14:24
John 10:2-5
Luke 10:38-42
Matthew 26:10-13, John 12:1-8
Matthew 26:13
Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36
Luke 9:31
Matthew 17:5

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Of course, to listen to Jesus exclusively, we must first believe in Him. Listening to Jesus is the first work
of our faith in Him. Putting His words into practice27 is the completion of the work.

Paul understood the uselessness of trying to follow the Law. Romans chapters 2 to 8 contain a
comprehensive study on how the Law was never meant to put us right with God – its purpose was to
identify sin for what it is. Once sin is identified, it can then be addressed. This is what was achieved as a
gift to us through Jesus. “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin
increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign
through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”28

So why has the church not listened to and followed the words of Jesus exclusively? Why is the church
still following parts of the Old Covenant given to the Israelites through Moses? Or mixing it with the
teachings of the Apostles, which at times conflict with the words of Jesus? (E.g. Compare Acts 15:19-20
with Mark 7:18-19) It is because this command, as small as it is, was lost to the disciples and therefore,
lost to the church. Perhaps if the command were a few pages long, we would have noticed it and
followed it… When praying to the Father just before His trial and crucifixion, Jesus said, “For I gave them
the words You gave Me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and
they believed that You sent Me.”29 So the disciples did receive Jesus’ words, but appear to forget the
Father’s only command to them.

It is interesting to note that Peter remembered what Moses said about listening to Jesus – For Moses
said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must
listen to everything He tells you. Anyone who does not listen to Him will be completely cut off from
among His people.’30 However, by the time Peter wrote his second letter, he appears to have forgotten
this command that he heard from the Father. He wrote of God the Father speaking on the Mount of
Transfiguration, but failed to mention His last three words, “Listen to Him.” For He (Jesus) received
honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This
is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from
heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain.31 The command is not mentioned during any
of the sermons after Acts 3 or in any of the letters written by the Apostles. (And in Acts 3, it is not
credited to God the Father.) However, the Holy Spirit ensured that it was well recorded in three of the
four Gospels, so that it would not be completely lost forever.

So, what is the only command given by God the Father directly to the disciples of Jesus, and
therefore to the church of Jesus? “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen
to Him.”32 “This is My Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!”33 “This is My Son, whom I have chosen;
listen to Him.”34
(“Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor” are part of the Old Testament Law, and were first
given to the Israelites. “Love your enemies” and “Love one another” were given by Jesus, not by the
Father. All of these were restated/stated by Jesus also, and apply to us because we are to listen to

So let’s look at a few of the key things that Jesus said:

1. Listen to His words and put them into practice.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise
man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and
beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone
who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who
built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against
that house, and it fell with a great crash.”35
The wise man is wise not because he loves Jesus or believes in Him, but because he hears Jesus’
words and puts them into practice. The foolish man may even be a believer, but because he
hears the words and does not put them into practice, his house is built on sand and will fall.
The rock in this case is the practice of Jesus’ words.

2. Follow Jesus (and don’t worry about what He wants anyone else to do for Him!)

Matthew 7:24
Romans 5:20-21
John 17:8
Acts 3:22-23
2 Peter 1:17-18
Matthew 17:5
Mark 9:7
Luke 9:35
Matthew 7:24-27

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Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who
had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray You?”) When
Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive
until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.”36
In other words, don’t worry about what Jesus wants anyone else to do for Him - you just need to
follow Jesus and be obedient to what He has called you to do!

3. Individually, and corporately as a church, we need to be listening to the Holy Spirit

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”37
We must learn to recognise the voice of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy
Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of
everything I have said to you.”38 Our practice in listening to the Holy Spirit begins through learning
to recognise the voice that reminds us of the words of Jesus. When words that Jesus spoke come to
our mind, listen to the voice that is prompting them – this is the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ words are like the
Holy Spirit introducing Himself. As we become more familiar with His voice, He will not always need
to begin with a formal introduction, just as a good friend calling on the phone doesn’t always need to
introduce themselves formally, because we know their voice. The Holy Spirit continues to speak what
He hears, just as Jesus did, and so the continued practice of listening is essential. “But when He, the
Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak
only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.”39 Then, just like Mary, we will know
what is to come as we listen, and be able to prepare for Jesus’ next major event – His return as King!

Of course, there are many more things that Jesus said, and it is up to us to search out the words spoken
by Jesus in the Gospels for ourselves and put them into practice. “All this I have spoken while still with
you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things
and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”40 Allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in
teaching you and reminding you of the words Jesus spoke.

Listen To Jesus!!!

P.S. Almost the first words spoken by Jesus in the Gospels, He replied to the devil, saying: “It is written:
‘Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”41 Man’s
life is in the spoken words that come out of God’s mouth.

A powerful way of understanding and experiencing the truth and power of this statement:
Get a Bible and read it straight through, without stopping at each chapter or section, and highlight
every word spoken by the Lord (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) right through the Bible. Read the New
Testament first and then the Old Testament. The purpose of this is to differentiate the words from the
mouth of the Lord, which are our truth and life, from the rest of the words, which are a truthful account,
as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Reading straight through and highlighting the Lord’s words gives a deeper insight to see how They
speak, think, feel and work on a very personal level, which allows us to know Them so much more. “Now
this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”42

If this is your first time reading through the Bible, don’t try to make sense of everything you read
because there are many passages that don’t make sense until you know the rest of the Bible. Just write
down your questions and keep reading. The answers will often come as you read other passages, and as
the Holy Spirit teaches you. In the meantime, ask the Holy Spirit, and He will teach you what you need
to know and are ready to understand as you read right now.

If you aim to read approximately twelve chapters a day, you will complete the Bible in three months!
The highlighting is also a good way to keep you moving, when you might otherwise have stopped in
certain passages. Doing this means you can read the whole Bible more than once a year, and gives a
more complete picture of the story and events of the Bible. (This has transformed my life!!!)

John 21:20-22
Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29, 3:6, 3:13, 3:22
John 14:26
John 16:13
John 14:25-26
Matthew 4:4
John 17:3

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Doing this also begins the process of moving into a place where we are not in error. Jesus said to the
Sadducees, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”43 Sadly,
many Christians are in error for the same reasons.

Fall in love with the Scriptures, and especially the words the Lord spoke. Get a hunger and passion for
them – they are your life!

Matthew 22:29

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