Message by Josh Mutter – October 22, 2023

BIG IDEA: Listening to understand will help us navigate our divisive differences.


1. The difference between hearing and understanding is significant.

Matthew 13:10-15 NIV  The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

2. Good listening leads to deeper understanding.

What does active listening look like?

i. Active listening requires that we are fully present.

ii. Active listening includes our body language.

iii. Active listening includes good eye contact.

iv. Active listening includes asking open ended questions.

v. Active listening includes reflecting back what we have heard.

vi. Active listening requires patience.

vii. Active listening withholds judgement.

Luke 10:38-42 NIV  “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.””

3. Good listening requires our full attention.

To access the Peaceful Practices guide, click here or go to

You can listen to the sermon on YouTube here.