Who Should We Listen to?

Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

1 Kings 2: 1-4, 10-12; Mark 6: 7-13

Dc. Larry Brockman


Just who should we listen to these days?  Seriously, this is the age of information.  Information and Pundits are prolific in our society.  All of us have access to hundreds of TV and Radio Stations;  an infinite resource of information sources over the Internet; and more books, periodicals, and other written sources than one can imagine.  And lots of the information we hear conflicts.  Weight saving diets conflict with each other; political commentators conflict on root causes of problems; and there are many pluralistic views on religion, all of which vie for our time and claim to have the truth, the answer to what life is all about.  Just who should we listen to?  

If you believe in Jesus, than he answers the question quite well for us today.    First, he sends people out whom he gave authority.  Yes, the people Jesus chose were given authority.  The root meaning of authority in this sense of the word is simply this: they were given power by Jesus, the power to represent His message.  They didn’t assume this power; they were given this power by Jesus.  So, the message was not their message; it was God’s message.   

Second, they went out two-by-two.  This means they didn’t go out alone- they were paired with another person who had been given the same authority.  Why? So that they validated the truth of the message for each other, and so that those who heard the message could not bear false witness against them.   

Next, they were told not to take anything extra.  In other words, they had no vested interest with them.  They weren’t bringing something of material value; and they weren’t asking for anything of material value.  They were neutral; they had nothing personal to gain.  They were messengers who were simply following God’s will for them.  They had the simplest and most pure motivation, their enthusiasm for the message of Jesus. 

Lastly, they had faith, great faith- the kind of faith that David speaks about in his parting words on his deathbed.  David told Solomon to always, always obey the Lord in all things, never questioning the law.  That takes tremendous faith.  

And because they had these simple characteristics- faith, authority, validation, and purity of purpose-  they were able to work wonders as they moved through the people, driving away unclean spirits, curing the lame, and healing the sick.     

In this day of information saturation, who should we listen to- our politicians; Wikipedia; the latest silver tongued “feel-good” preacher; the brilliant scientists with strings of initials after their names who dazzle us with “facts”;  the winners in the World?  Or do we listen to people who are like the Apostles that Jesus sent out two by two.  The choice is yours.  As for me, I’ll stay with the Church. 


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