Summary: After giving the interpretation of the parable of the sower Jesus speaks a few words to the future sowers. They are instructions to the disciples and us about the dissemination of the Gospel.
A Word to Sowers
The Book of Mark
A. Those of us who are believers have a responsibility given to us by the Lord.
B. We have a purpose and that purpose is stated very clearly in Matt.28:19-20 and in Acts 1:8.
1. This is the great commission given by Jesus just before His ascension.
2. It gives us our marching orders as it were.
C. Taking that as our premise we can extrapolate some truths that apply to us today.
1. Our primary purpose for being here is not to make a name for ourselves or to just simply survive; rather it is to glorify God by doing the work He has assigned us to do.
a) That is not to say that we should shun success.
b) It doesn’t mean that we cannot prosper.
c) It means that what we do regardless of the level of success we should do in the context of the Great Commission.
2. Sharing the good news about Jesus Christ is our primary vocation in conjunction with the vocation which God has provided for us.
3. The sharing of the Gospel is to be a natural outworking of our lives.
a) Sharing the gospel isn’t just for missionaries or for evangelists or preachers and full time workers.
b) The responsibility falls to all of us.
D. Mark 4:21-25 is spoken to the disciples after He revealed the interpretation of the parable of the sower.
1. He has described 4 different types of people and their heart condition with regard to the truth of the Gospel.
2. The emphasis of the parable is on the seed or the Word of God and it reception by people.
3. Secondary to that is the sower.
a) The person who spreads the seed.
E. Vs.21-25 is a continuation of the teaching of the parable but this is directly focused on the disciples who are the future sowers vs.11.
F. After giving the interpretation of the parable of the sower Jesus speaks a few words to the future sowers.
G. They are instructions to the disciples and us about the dissemination of the Gospel.
I.The Gospel message isn’t something that is to be hidden away vs.21-23.
A. The purpose of a lamp it to shed light.
1. This another use of a familiar object to teach truth it would be like saying a light bulb today.
a) A “lamp” in those days consisted of a small bowl with a spout on it into which a wick was inserted.
b) Oil was then poured into the bowl and the wick sucked up the oil and burned it so that it gave off light.
c) As long as the lamp was supplied with oil it would shine so that people could see at night or in the darkness of a house.
2. If it is employed in any other way it becomes useless and dangerous.
a) Under a basket it will go out.
(1) The light will be minimized.
(2) It will ultimately go out because of lack of oxygen.
b) If it is put under a bed its effect will also be diminished but there is also the danger of starting a fire and destroying the whole house because of the improper use of the lamp.
B. The proper place for a lamp is on a shelf or a stand where its light can be used by all.
C. The point being that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is supposed to be out there for everyone to see.
1. Christianity isn’t a secret society that only the initiated can enter into.
2. It welcomes all peoples who come to Christ without discrimination.
3. This being true there is no place nor is there any person who should not hear the gospel.
4. The only limiting factor is a person’s refusal to believe and accept Christ as savior.
D. Vs.22 Nothing hidden, kept secret.
1. He is not talking people’s personal lives here.
2. He is talking about the truth that He is teaching the disciples.
a) Kenneth Wuest translates vs.22 this way “For there is not anything which is hidden, except it be in order that it might be made known, nor has anything become hidden but in order that it might come into full view.”
b) John MacArthur says, “Jesus’ teaching was never intended to be just for an inner circle of followers. It would be the responsibility of the disciples to communicate the gospel of the kingdom to the world at large
E. Jesus then admonishes the disciples and us vs.23.
1. This isn’t the same thing He said in vs.9.
2. The grammar here indicates that He assumes that they have hearing ears.
3. He is telling them and us to listen so that we might be better conveyors of truth.