They found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
James 1:16-19 "Listening is such a simple act," wrote management consultant Margaret J. Wheatley. "It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don't have to do anything else. We don't have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen."1
Jesus certainly knew how to advise, coach, and communicate His wisdom. The teaching of the ages rolled off His tongue, and His Words change our lives. Yet He also knew how to listen. He freely gave the present of listening ears. He heard the cries of widows, the perplexity of disciples, the voices of children, the confusion of rulers, and the voice of His Father.
According to Proverbs 20:5, people's hearts are like deep waters, "but a man of understanding will draw [them] out." Those who listen have a way of uncovering the needs of others. We can't solve everyone's problems, but sometimes listening is enough. Let every one of us be slow to speak but quick to listen (James 1:19).
It takes a great man to be a good listener.