Mark 4:21-34English Standard Version (ESV)
A Lamp Under a Basket
21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
The Parable of the Seed Growing
26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
This scripture contains 3 parables - the lamp under the basket, the seed growing, and the mustard seed.
I've always particularly enjoyed the parable of the seed growing. It is important when you're part of a pastoral family and really, for any of us as follower's of Christ, to remember that we don't always see our faith and sharing show results. You can sow a seed and wait years to see results, and not really even know how it happened!
It reminds me of Paul's "I planted, Apollos watered" letter.
For more in depth dissection of this, I recommend you read MacArthur's sermon. He had much more time to study than I did!
I'm enjoying how quickly MacArthur is going through Mark - in comparison to Luke! :)
We've been given the priviledge of being given the truth - we need to share it! Shine the light, sow the seed! We need to share the gospel - it's our responsibility to do so. For a time, Jesus kept His teaching hidden to only His genuine disciples, but after His death and resurrection the time came (and continues now) for full disclosure of the gospel. And as we share the gospel, we will be blessed spiritually - with more understanding, more joy, more grace, etc. But for the false disciples, even what they THINK they have will be taken away from them, they will not be saved.
The key to remember is that all we can do is speak the truth, speak the gospel. The results are up to God alone and the work of the Spirit. And we can be confident of a great harvest!
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