FEBRUARY 15 READING…Mark 4
In our reading today, we have Mark recording for us again the “Parable of the Sower”. We looked at this parable in depth in our reading through Matthew 13…I want to focus on a statement and Old Testament verse Mark added in response to those around Jesus who heard the parable. Jesus had said that, “those who had ears to hear, let them hear.” Here is what He meant by this statement which He reinforced by the passage out of Isaiah. To those who have the Spirit of God openings their ears, their eyes, and their hearts to the things of God…they are able to receive the deep meaning of the teachings of the kingdom. Paul affirms this truth in 1 Corinthians 2:10-16…” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” The things of God are always given, and only given, by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit NO ONE could understand, or receive the things of God. Jesus spoke of those who were not open to the teaching of the Holy Spirit as those who no ears, no understanding, of the mystery of God’s truth…therefore, to them He would speak in parables (earthly stories that spoke of a heavenly truth).
Jesus then gives three more parables about the Kingdom of God. The first is one that should make sense to all. No one turns on a light only to cover the light. The purpose of light is to shine forth…pushing back the darkness. The light reveals all things, nothing is hidden. We need to be walking in the light of Jesus…shining forth our faith in Him…shining His light in a dark world. The parable of the growing seed speaks of the time process of natural growth when the seed is scattered. In the Kingdom of God, the seed of the Word is scattered…it begins to grow, and is intended to grow until the time of Christ return (the great harvest time). How much faith is needed…with the Lord it is not the quantity of faith as much as it is about the quality of faith. How could one possibly measure how much faith one has…but we can know whether that faith is genuine, or real. The smallest of seeds, the mustard seed, produces a large bush that even the birds can live in…so is genuine faith when it is lived in the life of a believer grows, and touches everyone around. Our reading ends with Jesus demonstrating that He is Lord of nature…He calms the storm on the sea. The disciples were understandably in awe and wonder as to who Jesus actually is.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW'S READING…Mark 5