Summary: In our passage today we look at three parables of Jesus, and each parable contains a paradox about God’s Kingdom.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
Jack Wyrtzen used lots of stories in his preaching. One day someone was talking with one of the Word of Life staff members and said, “I heard Jack preach one of his “skyscraper messages” the other night.” The staff member asked what he meant by a “skyscraper message” and the person responded in sort of a sarcastic manner by saying, “Oh, one story on top of another.” The staff member responded, “Then he must have been preaching like it says Jesus did in Mark 4:34; “but without a parable spake He not unto them.”
(In our passage today we look at three parables of Jesus, and each parable contains a paradox about God’s Kingdom. A paradox is simply a statement or idea that appears to be contradictory.
1. A Lamp (4:21-23) - Even though God’s kingdom came to our world concealed, God wants us to make it known.
2 A Scale (Mark 4:24-25) - Even though God’s kingdom is difficult to understand, we can understand when we invest ourselves into it.
3. A Growing Seed (Mark 4:26-29) - Even though God calls us to share the kingdom message, God’s kingdom will come apart from human efforts.
Now the hearing in this context is listening to Jesus and his kingdom message, especially as it relates to the parables (vv. 24-25). It is the measure that we use in our hearing that determines the measure we receive in understanding. If we have some understanding of Jesus’ message, we’ll be given more. But if we have no understanding, then we’ll get nothing. When good seed is sown in good soil growth and production takes time and patience (vv. 26-29). If we see a plant every day we probably will not notice growth taking place. It is only when we don’t see it for several days that we notice the difference. The same is true in the Christian life. After the seed has been sown it should be given time to grow. We should not expect spiritual maturity right away. The growth is usually very gradual, but if we are patient, one day there will be a harvest.
Question - What abilities or talents do I have that I am not using? What are some steps I could take to start using them?