Summary: We are to receive God's truth in view of obeying it and sharing it with others.
Jesus used parables to make truth simple and understandable. The previous parable to this passage concerned an agricultural metaphor that taught a lesson centered around the sower, seed, and soil. The primary lesson in that parable was that there are different responses to God's truth. All received the truth of the seed from the sower (4:3, 14), and they all "heard" (4:15-16, 18, 20). However, the response was not the same.
A Christian is one who has a journey with truth in the most innermost parts of his heart. He loves truth. See Psalm 51:6.
There are three responsibilities believers have as stewards of God's truth:
1. Hold the Truth High - 4:21-22
The "lamp" was a small clay dish filled with oil
and a wick that gave light. Disciples are like
that lamp - to be revealers of light and truth.
This lamp was in every home in Israel and, of
necessity, was given a prominent place.
"Light" is a synonym for truth in the Bible. Like
the lamp the believer is to enlighten by standing
When person isn't right with God it shows in their
countenance - the light has gone from their eyes.
"Darkness" is a synonym for ignorance and error in
the Bible. See Ephesians 5:8; II Corinthians
4:4-6. It is unnatural to hide the truth. Our
culture makes us cower from absolutes.
A. Some hide it because of busyness - "bushel" -
4:21. A bushel basket contained two gallons
and was a work implement. It measured dry
B. Some hide it because of laziness - "bed" -
4:21. It takes effort to stand alone. There
is a price to receive truth. See Proverbs
C. Some hide it because of fear - 4:22. Truth
can only be suppressed temporarily - one day it
will come out.
2. Hear the Truth Clearly - 4:23-25
A Christian has a responsibility to be attentive to
truth. "Ears to hear" (4:23) means one has
spiritual understanding of the truth. It is
listening with the heart and mind.
A. Everyone doesn't hear the truth - 4:23. Apart
from the Spirit of God there is no appetite
for spiritual issues. See I Corinthians
B. Everyone doesn't have the truth - 4:24a.
Christians are cautioned against opening their
heart to any teacher. Truth is a precious
C. Everyone doesn't have the same amount of truth
- 4:24b-25. You will either use it or lose
it. The more truth you give out, the more you
will receive. The less you give, the less you
receive. People with spiritual truth were not
born with it.
3. Harvest the Truth Proportionately - 4:26-29
The laws of harvest apply to the Christian walk.
A. No seed, no crop - 4:26. This implies that
one's heart was prepared to receive the seed
of God's Word. There simply is no harvest
without a planting time.
B. No patience, no crop - 4:27-28. It takes time
for a crop to grow and mature. Our culture
is consumed with that which can be received
quickly. See I Corinthians 3:6-7.