Who is Semein?

Who is Semein?

Luke 3: 26 “the son of Semein”

In brief it means to hear or obey.

The mark of discipleship are these 2 traits. Hearing and obeying.

Autobiography in 5 short chapters by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1: I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the pavement. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter 2: I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the pavement. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place, but it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3: I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the pavement. I see it is there. I still fall in. It’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Chapter 4: I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the pavement. I walk around it.

Chapter 5: I walk down another street.


In Hebrews 5 the writer tells us that Jesus struggled in prayer and cried out with tears to the One who could save him from death. In this place of prayer where he was heard but where he also heard he learnt obedience. The writer more than anyone else is the one who declares time and again that Jesus is perfect. So what is learnt obedience? It is tested obedience. Every response to every test was perfection.


It isn’t until you sit with someone starting out in ministry with all their youthful energy and passion to change the world that you realise hearing and obeying is something that isn’t high on the agenda. It is to be heard and to be obeyed which is the loudest voice. Similarly, it isn’t until you stand with someone at the end of their ministry, retired even, (though in some places I find that strangely the word ‘retired’ has become slanderous) that you realise hearing and obeying has been replaced by many experiences often hurtful ones and that the spiritual deaf aid went in ages ago and the self-preservation wall was erected soon after.


Hearing and obeying is a journey of discipleship till we die isn’t it?

If it was good enough for Jesus then surely …?!


Today be Semein. Hear through opening your eyes, slowing your life down, in prayer, meditation of the Bible, reading this blog (!), listening to others. Some have already decided they will not hear through certain perfectly good channels. Why? Why block out what could be God speaking?

Obey through change, through the difficult day of testing, it may not be the devil having a go, it may just be the testing and perfecting of your obedience by God. So don’t run ahead thinking that hearing and obeying doesn’t apply and it is too slow a process for you and don’t become embittered by your life like one man who recently boasted, “No man can take me on, I win every argument.”


Hear or obey. Let’s do both.

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