“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.’ He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’” (Luke 11:27–28, NIV84)
A very wise teacher once said that “the shortest but most difficult distance to travel is the distance between our heads and our hearts.” Jesus, throughout His ministry, tried to get people to not just hear and assent to God’s words but to live them, too. Our minds can acknowledge and assent to many things, but that does not necessarily mean we will follow that up with action. Only when our hearts (faith and trust) are in sync with our heads will we see obedience in our lives. Think about it for a minute. We do not live according to what we know. We live according to what we believe. We might know it is wrong to speed, cheat, lust, etc. But that doesn’t mean we don’t do those things. The truth about what we know has to be significant enough to be believed in. Once we believe in something, our lives will naturally follow.
With that as a backdrop, Jesus is telling this woman (and us) that those who are truly blessed are those who hear and live according to the Word of God. The blessed know that the Lord’s Word is true and believe in it with all their heart. They believe it is necessary to live according to God’s truths. All this makes perfect sense! So, why is the distance between our head and heart the shortest but most difficult distance to travel? Because so many voices and worldly distractions block the path. We must pray that the Holy Spirit makes His truths clear to us so that we hear, know, believe, and live according to the truths of God’s Word.
As James says, “Prove yourselves to be doers of the Word, and not only hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22).