Mark 4b Notes

Mark4b (vs21-34)                                     Notes



21 He said, "Is a lamp brought in


Purpose of an oil lamp: light the room.


Not to be seen, but to give sight.


to be put under a basket, or under a bed,


No one intentionally hides it...


covers or obscures its light.


and not on a stand?


but lifts it up, exposing all possible.


22 Nothing is hidden except to be manifest


Why do we hide things? Keep them safe.


nor is anything secret except to come to light."


The purpose for secrets: to reveal them. Purpose of   parables: make truth known.


23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."


If you can hear, really listen to 'get it!'


How sad when such ability is wasted.


24 "Pay attention to what you hear


We hear only what we want to hear.


with the measure you use, it will be measured to you


a filter on all our input / heart for truth, then it can   enter


and still more will be added to you.


if open, then more can come through. Truth-learning grows   on compound curve.


25 To one who has, more will be given


Truth is spiritually discerned (1Cor2:13,15) we can   have God's mind.


and from one who has not, even what he has will be taken   away."


The mind set on flesh does not submit (Rom8:7) and cannot   please God (v8).



The lamp here used differently than in Mt5:14-16. Here the lamp is the teaching device of the parable. Its intent is to elucidate, to give light to the hearer. This depends on the hearer. Does he have eyes to see? and ears to hear? He can unravel the mystery, crack the code, get to the bottom of every parable. If he is tuned in to the mind of God.



25 "The kingdom    of God is as if


"As if" not hypothetical story, but the connection:   farming and divine reign?


a man should scatter seed on the ground.


Farmer throws good seed on ground (!)


27 He sleeps and rises night and day


Goes about his daily life...


and the seed sprouts and grows;


while the seed is busy growing


he knows not how.


He hasn't a clue how this really works


(But he has faith in the process).


28 The earth produces by itself,


God's world has automatic mechanisms


first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the   ear.


Each step of progression like clockwork


29 But when the grain is ripe,


At this juncture, re-enter the farmer:


at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has   come."


he abruptly intervenes by harvesting the seed. Knows how   to reap the results!



As seed is living, the word of God has life-power in itself. (See Isa55:10,11 / Heb4:12).

Like soil, a person's heart supports it, but the life is in the word (Jn6:63, 68).

We work as partners with God: plant the seed. leave it alone. let it germinate and grow.

We cannot make it grow any faster by worrying over it.

Sometimes other have planted -- the word grows - and we can harvest (Jn4:35-38).



30 "With what can we compare the kingdom of God?


Notice of the subject of Jesus' teaching: the divine reign   / sovereign rule


or what parable shall we use for it?


Not simple musing, but soliciting attention and announcing   intention.


31 It is like a grain of mustard seed,


Black mustard (brassica nigra) native of med. & south asia. Not our white mustard.


which, when sown on the ground,


scattered in the soil -- can hardly be seen. Practically   'disappears' in the ground.


is smallest of all the seeds on earth,


As known by farmers of the day. Sell black mustard seed: 5,000   seeds in a packet.


32 yet when it is sown it grows up


Assumes normal germination and growth - then it climbs,   ascends, rises...


and becomes larger than all the garden plants


From seed smaller to plant larger - As compared with   common garden plants.


and puts out large branches,


Black mustard grows to a 8-12' height -- as a shrub or bush   -- with woody stems.


so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."


Living creatures take advantage of the shelter of large   plants.



From seemingly insignificant beginnings, the reign of God will grow to surprising proportion. This aspect of its growth here emphasized.

In another instances, He uses the smallness of the seed to illustrate the potency of real faith (Lk17:6).

[Note: Every parable use of 'bird' =/= Satan. Common error to correlate the birds here to emissaries of Satan, sheltering in the church. Such a bizarre twist from Lord's intent!]

Rather, God's people find refuge, even rest and peace, in the expanding kingdom.



33 With many such parables He spoke the word to them,


As with miracles, His message delivered with more such   stories unrecorded.


as they were able to hear it.


People limited the Lord's teaching: in measure with their   ability to receive.


34 He did not speak to them without a parable,


Exclusive method now employed. Why? To contain treasure of   truth (vs11,12).


but privately to his own disciples he explained   everything.


Privilege for closer followers to have the meaning   revealed. It was ever thus.



God reveals truth to those who are receptive (see Mt16:17). And opens hearts to understand: Lk24:32 / v45 / Acts16:14. "They shall all be taught of God -- learned from the Father" - John 6:45. "You yourselves have been taught by God" - 1Thess4:9.


notes by David Teel Wednesday, March 05, 2014