Speak, Lord

Lou Lotz

Read: Luke 10:13-16

The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me. (v. 16)

I was the guest preacher at a small church in the Philippines. When I stood up, I saw on the pulpit, carved in the wood, the words, “He who hears you, hears me.” Let me tell you, that gets preachers thinking about what they are about to say.

When Jesus sent out his disciples, he said that they were not merely authorized to preach about him, but that in their proclamation he himself will be speaking. “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me.” How should we think about that? Very carefully, that’s how.

Protestant believers struggle to understand the transubstantiation of the Roman Catholic mass—that bread and cup actually become the real body and blood of Christ. But we believe something equally, if not even more incredible. We believe that the triune God speaks through human preachers. “He who hears you, hears me,” said Jesus. And Paul said, “When you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God” (1 Thess. 2:13). “Every honest pastor’s and preacher’s mouth is Christ’s mouth,” said Luther.

Parishioners should listen carefully to the preaching of God’s Word, and preachers should go about their task with fear and trembling. Those words should be inscribed on every pulpit: “He who hears you, hears me.” —Lou Lotz

Prayer: Speak, Lord. I am listening.