How to Hear the Voice of Jesus

The world bombards us with so much information and distraction that sometimes it’s hard to hear the voice of Jesus. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually hear His voice and separate it from the torrent of media noise coming our way? The sound of Jesus’ voice often seems faint compared to all the news we hear about wars and pandemics, inflation and economic collapse, crimes, natural disasters and political crises. All these things are coming at us through an almost endless variety of technologies and it seems like we are awash in an ocean of news, entertainment and information. It would do most of us a lot of good if we learned how to hear the voice of Jesus instead of all the noise and distraction the world sends our way.

Theological Noise

There’s another kind of noise that also makes it hard to hear the sound of Jesus’ voice. It’s helpful to think of the ancient dogmas coming our way from the church fathers as a kind of “theological noise” that can also drown out Jesus’ voice. I like to watch nature shows on TV and am amazed by the way a mother seal or seagull finds her own offspring in a noisy colony full of hungry shrieking babies. Somehow or another she hears the sound of her own baby and that baby hears and recognizes her voice! It’s just a miracle… and it’s a miracle too that we can even hear the voice of Jesus over the all the theological noise  surrounding us.

The Sound of Jesus’ Voice

Jesus meant it when He said, “My sheep hear my voice…” (John 10:27) Above the noise of the world and church traditions there remains the sound of Jesus’ voice and it’s still possible to hear it if you dare. He speaks to us plainly and forcefully and today we can hear His voice in the words of scripture. The words of Jesus continue to echo through the centuries and hallways of history and His sheep still hear them today. Scripture is the sound of Jesus’ voice and His sheep delight to hear Him. His words cut through the proud religious traditions of men now just like they did when He walked in Israel. His voice also cuts through all the philosophical nonsense that forms the heart of trinitarian dogma and His words are “sharper than any two edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12)

The Voice of Tradition

Our most sacred tradition (the trinity) declares that God is three co-equal persons who share the same divine substance. This is the united voice of the church fathers and councils and it still shouts loudly in Christendom today.  Modern theologians and scholars simply echo the ancient thoughts and words of the church fathers and for the most part their voices are the only voices allowed in our churches. It is fair to say that their voice is the voice of tradition, but the voice of tradition is not the voice of Jesus.

The Voice of Jesus

No one ever heard the voice of Jesus say that God is three persons or anything remotely like it. His words are simple, straightforward and clear.  He taught that the most important thing, the first and greatest commandment of all is this: “Hear O Israel! The LORD our God is One LORD.” (Mark 12:29) This is the main thing! Don’t ever forget it…. no matter what you hear from creeds, councils, church fathers, traditions or the denominations that want you to listen to their voice. “The LORD our God is One LORD.”  “For us (Christians) there is one God, the Father and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5)

There Are So Many Voices in the World

“There are, it may be, so many voices in the world and none of them is without significance.” (I Corinthians 14:10) All we have to do is figure out what those voices signify and which voice we should listen to. Should we listen to the words and voice of the church fathers in the triune creeds they imposed on the Body of Christ?  Or should we listen to the words and voice of Jesus Christ recorded in scripture? Who should we listen to?  We think that’s a good question to think about. What do you think? It makes sense to us to listen to Jesus.

Copyright 2023 by Bob Shutes

PS: It took this old retired pastor almost 50 years of study and searching to find a clear and Biblical alternative to the trinity. I confess to being a little slow. Ultimately I arrived at the immensely satisfying and solidly Biblical understanding of God and Christ we speak of on this website and that some call Biblical Unitarian. I hope it doesn’t take you that long! If this teaching brings you peace and blessing please spread the word and share a link to www.wonderfultheology.com with someone else soon! (they might not have 50 years left). God Bless.
Water is a Biblical symbol of the refreshing nature of God's Spirit.

A Fable for Thirsty Souls

In Another Time and Another Place

In another time and another place there was a young man who found himself born on the shores of a lake more beautiful and refreshing than he could describe in words (though he would often try). How he had come to be there was something of a mystery only understood by the Master of the Waves who owned the waters and all who swam in them. Somehow the young man understood that his life near the waters had to do with memories of a terrible and killing thirst. Mostly though, he had simply learned to love the One who filled the waves and sent the gentle breezes to him, and who gave him the sweet stillness of the morning and the evening.

The God of the Waters

In the course of time he came to know that the waters were truly his, and would always be his. The Master had even given him a fountain, one that he could take with him into the dryness where men still went mad and died from the killing thirst that he himself had known. It seemed that the feel of the water and its fragrance,  even its sounds as it splashed about him had become the very stuff of his life. When the God of the Waters had fully satisfied the young one He sent him back into the dry places with the assurance that his small fountain would be enough to cure even the worst of the killing thirsts. Even the nearly dead and delirious could make their way to the shores of his beloved lake if only they would take a sip.

The Property Owners Association

No one told him about the Property Owners Association. These were people who claimed to own the lake and the right to determine who got to swim, and when and for how long. They even claimed to speak for the Master of the Waves and insisted that the young swimmer forget about the water and pay more attention to cleaning up the lakeshore. Worse than that they insisted that the cure for the killing thirsts was just tidying up a bit and then going to work on the property owners’ pet projects. And do you know what? The young man was so naive and gullible, and they were so insistent and their leader so forceful that the young man believed them!

After Many Long Years

After many long years of intense labors the young man had such an odd thing happen to him… one day he somehow managed to get the scent of his beloved waters once again. It was so unexpected, and so welcome. Actually, it made him realize that his little fountain had nearly dried up and that he had begun to feel the effects of the killing thirsts all over again. He realized that he didn’t really belong to the Property Owners Association and didn’t want to and had done enough of their projects to last him a lifetime. More than that though, it was the water that drew him. Just the smell of it and the feel of it and its refreshing.

The Master of the Waves

The Master of the Waves, how good it was to see HIM again and to know His stillness and His gentle breezes. And the young man decided he had learned a valuable lesson. The Lake belonged to the Master after all, and the Property Owners Association really didn’t have much to do with the water, or with the Master either.

Copyright circa 1995 by Bob Shutes

PS: This was written in hopes that it might be a blessing to all who are bound by or leaving the dryness and chains of legalism. May God grant you peace and an abundant supply of living waters for your journey.