Mark 4: 21-41
VV 21-25, ‘’21 Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” ‘’
People in first century Israel use oil lamp. The lamp is placed on top of a stand or shelf. The gospel is like an oil lamp. It is never intended to be kept secret or hidden under a bed. You are commanded to share the gospel to others. Learning truth, applying and practicing them will transform and mature your faith. Listening but not applying and practicing them will not be transformative and truths will soon be forgotten.
VV 26-29, ‘’26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The parable of the seed. Scattering seed is sharing the gospel. People listen but you cannot see what happens to them. Gradually, signs of life appear, stage by stage, first the blade, then the head, and after that the full grain in the head. Eventually you will reap a harvest, and people will be added into the kingdom of God. More seeds scattered will result in a bigger harvest.
VV 30-32, ‘’30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”
The parable of the mustard seed. The mustard seed is not the actually smallest seed in the world but it is a small seed nonetheless.When a mustard seed is planted into a field, it will grow into a large garden plant, up to 15 feet tall. Birds come and perch on the tree branches. One interpretation is that although the kingdom of God begins small, it will gradually expand throughout the world and people will come to take refuge in it. Another interpretation says that birds resting in the branches refer to agents of satan infiltrating the kingdom and spreading false doctrines to the church.
VV 33-34, ‘’33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.’’
Jesus spoke to the people in parables but when He was alone with the disciples, He explained the meaning of these parables to them.
VV 35-41, 35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Since Jesus commanded the disciples to cross over to the other side of the lake, He will take them over to the other side of the lake.
The Sea of Galilee is 680 feet below sea level surrounded by two high mountain ranges on both sides. Sudden violent flash storms are common in the Sea of Galilee when cold air from the Mediterranean Sea rushed down the valley at high speed to mix with the warm air above the Sea of Galilee. This was one of those flash storms. Jesus rebuked the wind and the sea and immediately the wind stop blowing and the sea waves stopped tossing. Even the wind and the sea obeyed Him.
When you go through the storms of life, sickness, pain, or financial reversal, what is your attitude in the storm? God wants you to have a deeper life. Storms deepen your faith and your walk with God.
Hebrews 12:6, ‘’Whom the Lord love, He also chastened.’’
James 1:2-3, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance”.’
2 Cor 1:3-4, ‘’Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.’’
Heavenly Father, thank You for chastening us when You bring us into storms of life by Your will. We claim Your promise that if You let us go into a storm, You will bring us out of the storm. You have a reason for every storm, to deepen our faith, character and walk with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.