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Paul doesn't tell Timothy only to pray; he tells him to reflect, to think hard about these issues -- and to know that God will allow that reflection to pay off. They expressed devotion, but their actions belied their words. And how will you understand all the parables? This parable contained instruction so important, that all capable of hearing were bound to attend to it. Please feel free to copy it, but only in its entirety for circulation freely without charge. The development of good listening skills is important in many parts of our lives: academics, workplace, families -- but our skills in listening to the word of God are of greatest importance. Note that this person hears the word and initially responds in exactly the same way as the seed that falls on the good soil: germination takes place. Those of us entrenched in mainline denominations ought not to try to remove the shock that Mark intends here. Mark appropriates this text by pairing it with the parables in such a way as to apply it to those who think they’ve got things figured out. Jesus tells his disciples that they have been given the "mystery of the kingdom of God." It is the Lord who gives us insight. The man, reading the paper, says: "Honey, listen to this news item: A study was done that shows conclusively that women speak twice as many words as men!" Demas worked with Paul for some time; Paul forwards his greetings in the letters to Colosse and Philemon. Or are you feeding on it, allowing it to permeate you and change you? Mark 5:21-34 Hemorrhaging Woman Healed. Clifton Black, Mark (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2011), 130 2Black, Mark, 131. Mark 4:21-29 Jesus Teaches in Parables. A close look at these stories will quickly reveal that they are not just quaint quotidian creations. But as soon as there is any challenge to the word, as soon as obeying that word leads to any difficulty, this person forgets the word and reverts to what he was before. On these occasions, it can be tempting simply to start discussion by asking people what they thought of the sermon. We witnessed various responses to Christ's message in chapter 3: 1. ", Mark 4:13 is both a reprimand and a challenge to his disciples. Mark 4:30-34 Delivered 04/02/2006. Once again, I propose that all of us act this way at times. It comes from the Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren. 28 "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. In Mark chapter 4, the evangelist spins a series of parables and narratives about seeds, planting, harvesting, and seafaring. ” (Mark 4:38) When we think Jesus doesn’t care about us, it shows we have no faith, because we don’t believe the truth about Jesus. And you follow through for a week. iii. (NASB). They did not listen; they did not hear Him. You hear a sermon on prayer and decide, "Yes, that is important. Mark will eventually answer the question about who is the good soil. Mark here dashes any hope that the disciples might be on special epistemological footing. 23 "If any man has ears to hear, let him hear." The righteous shall live by faith. The furniture of a very humble Eastern home is brought before us in this saying. 11 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 in order that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE; AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND LEST THEY RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.". Luke 8:4-8.Matthew has here a group of parables from the collection of Logia to the number of seven,—a later and richer selection than Mark gives with his three similitudes, the second of which, however (Mark 4:26-29), Matthew has not, because it probably was not embraced in the collection of Logia.See on Mark 4:26 ff. . Mark will provide a narrative answer to the questions raised by the parables, and the answer is one that leaves its onlookers in fear. The Victorious King (Mark 4:35-5:43) 6. Here’s an opening prayer inspired by Mark 4:35-41, the account of how Jesus calmed the storm. Unlike those represented by the rocky ground, their understanding of the truth deepens. By itself, it is a wonderful story. Verse 9 of this chapter reads, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Ask that God might open your ears, that He would break down your barriers, that He would allow you to take these truths to heart. While in the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:3-9, we see that the seed is specifically mentioned as the word (verse 14). (NASB except Jesus' first phrase in verse 24 is NIV), A married couple sits at the breakfast table. God took me 8,000 miles away, to a different continent, and then allowed us to suffer the breakdown of our marriage. ( mark 4:7 mark 4:18 mark 4:19). Their understanding of these truths deepened, indeed the truths became part of them because of their effort to understand. The solution to this problem is to become like the Bereans that Luke describes in Acts 17:11. The seed, the word, is going out. To bring this out, we won't go straight through the passage, but instead look at three themes: Let's first remind ourselves briefly of the context of this chapter. I didn't have to listen, and would close my ears to the word. 1C. ", "Wow, that's such a noble sentiment -- but it's simply not practical. Most of you would like to hear what I am saying, you would like to soak up the word of God. Mark 4:1-9.See on Matthew 13:1-9.Comp. What are your barriers? Hear the word of God! But "the righteous one shall live by faith." This question lingers in the mind when one reaches the final episode of the chapter, a miracle narrative in which Jesus calms a violent storm. So as you hear, work hard to internalize these truths! This is what was happening with Jesus -- and you know what? Unlike those represented by the ground beside the road, these do hear initially, and agree. 24 And He was saying to them, "Consider carefully what you hear. I will pray for thirty minutes every day." ", Verse 23: "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear! Perfect for group use or daily personal reflection, this study uses the popular inductive method combined with Wright's thoughtful insights to bring contemporary application of Scripture to life. Have you responded to God's truth in this way at times? Jesus uses the mystery of seed germination as an illustration in this passage. This section of Scripture contains a series of parables broken up with some direct instruction on the Kingdom of God. 2 And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching, 3 "Listen to this! The sower is indiscriminate, wasteful, or perhaps optimistic; soil types are entrenched in their own ways. The time is fulfilled! Rousing Jesus results in his calming of the storm. (NIV). I'm making them available and understandable: So hear!". Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year. Fear is intended, and without it, the reader misses the point. Copyright © 1999, Thomas C. Pinckney. So Ezekiel was to them a performer, a maestro, fun to listen to but having no impact on their lives. On other occasions, when we are in discussion, we'll hear a point we want to respond to and begin to formulate our own response -- not hearing anything else the other person says. Jesus emphasizes the importance of truly hearing the word again and again in this chapter: Jesus issues a stern warning here, following up on the one he gave to the Pharisees in chapter 3: Many people hear God's word and never take it to heart. Maybe people 2000 years ago could act that way, but it doesn't work at the dawn of the 21st century.". Clifton Black, in his recent commentary, summarizes the effect of this chapter insightfully: “The astringency of Mark’s epistemology, his view of the conditions under which understanding is possible, is at once a balm to the vulnerable, frail as seeds, and an indictment of those who presume some inside track onto the workings of the Almighty.”2. At that time, I did not believe in the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, so I could toss out any parts of the Bible that bothered me. Mark 4:26-34: The Potent Gospel. So Jesus is telling his disciples, "I am revealing to you these mysteries, these vital truths." Commentary on Mark 4:1-34 View Bible Text . (NASB). Jesus Calms the Storm (). Mark 5:11-20 Two Thousand Hogs Drown. How many of you have had this experience in relation to prayer? (Hab 2:4). So we might paraphrase 24 and 25: "How deeply are you digging into the bag of the word of God? Work hard at hearing it! It almost sounds as if Jesus is speaking in parables in order that they won't be able to understand, and thus will have no chance of forgiveness. We cannot discover a truth like this on our own. ", 21 ¶ And He was saying to them, "A lamp is not brought to be put under a peck-measure, is it, or under a bed? So ask! Are our ears attuned to the ways in which the Kingdom is moving? ", Verse 33: "Jesus spoke the word to them, [literally] as much as they could hear.". How do we understand this when thinking of the soils as different responses of the same person at different times? If these desires tempted someone working with Paul, they certainly tempt us. Many of us have heard sermons or read the Bible and responded in our hearts: "Yes, yes, that is true. They ask him to explain the parable of the sower, and he responds", Do you not perceive this parable? The use of parables is typical of Jesus’ enigmatic method of teaching the crowds (Mk 4:2–9, 12) as compared with the interpretation of the parables he gives to his disciples (Mk 4:10–25, 33–34) to each group according to its capacity to understand (Mk 4:9–11). Preconceived ideas that block our hearing the word are of even greater importance. The NASB translation "Be careful what you listen to," while good advice and one possible translation of the words in question, misses the point in context. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. As did many segments of early Judaism and early Christianity, to a different continent, and we mentally to... Translations obfuscate the disciples ’ lack of faith. other seed fell among the,! Are people who will his own treasured possession a chance to germinate Ezekiel 17:22-24 ; Mark 4:30-32 ''. 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