According to John 5:35, John the Baptist certainly stirred up excitement and expectation for the arrival of the Messiah, but once Jesus began to make public appearances that involved correction of false beliefs and practices, along with placing himself at the center of God’s redemptive plan, the excitement quickly turned to disdain. This happens in our day as well, when people get excited about listening to their favorite speaker, yet have little to no commitment to Jesus Christ in key areas of their lives. Listening to messages about Christ isn’t really that costly at all, but obeying what Christ says is where the rubber hits the road. It’s in times of difficulty and sacrifice when convictions are tested and it is shown whether one simply enjoys listening to the word or if one actually abides in Christ’s word.

This is illustrated in 2 of the 4 soils described by Jesus in the parable of the soils in Mark 4:16 In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

As taught there, it is inconsequential to merely enjoy listening to preaching and teaching. Before Herod had John the Baptist’s head cut off, Mark 6:20 records he enjoyed listening to him! What did that produce in Herod? Absolutely nothing! Messengers of Christ are those who point others to the source of salvation and do not want any attention on themselves and listeners must make sure they are always fixing their eyes on the Light and not on a lamp.