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Summary: The three parables are examined in detail. These parables are eschatological in nature. These parables are written to give us reassurance in our faith right now and also to give us insight concerning the nature of the coming of the kingdom of God.

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Today in our Scripture Jesus teaches us three short parables which all tie together to form a fuller understanding of who God is and how he operates in our lives. You’ll notice as we read the Scripture today there are some verses that are quite difficult to understand and on a first reading we may become a bit confused about what Jesus intended. As we read the Scripture, I would pay special attention to verses 24 and 25. Well, let’s read the Scripture and then see what God has in store for us morning. Mark 4:21-34.

(Read the Scripture from your favorite translation. I am using the NIV.)

Our Scripture starts out talking about a lamp, so I thought I would start out this morning talking about a related subject: Light bulbs. {maybe only Alaskans find them funny}

Q: How many former Alaskan Governors does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Only one, but he will need his state purchased Lear jet to get it done.

Q: How many Alaskan pipeline workers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: We’re supposed to do maintenance?

Q: How many Alaskan lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Exactly what do you mean by light bulb?

Q: How many Alaskan fly fishermen does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Don’t talk to me when I’m fishing.

Q: How many Alaskans who came from Texas does it take to change a light bulb?

A: I don’t know, but the light bulbs in Texas are bigger and brighter.

Q: How many moose does it take to get a light bulb changed?

A: Obviously a tourist question. Why would you let a moose change light bulbs?

And finally…..

Q: How many members of the Trinity does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Jesus is the light, and He never changes.

Yeah I know, Katie said they weren’t very funny.

So we have before us three short parables where Jesus speaks about himself in the first parable and then Jesus speaks about the kingdom of God and our spiritual maturity in the next two parables. We see in the first parable that Jesus Christ cannot be contained and in the next two parables, that the kingdom of God is destined to grow, and that it will grow beyond all of our expectations and beyond our wildest imagination. In fact, we see a mysterious principle at work: 25 “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

Before we get into understanding what Jesus is teaching us this morning, we need to understand the broader context of this passage. These parables are distinctly eschatological; What I mean is, that not only do they talk about life right now, but they also speak of the culmination of all things at the end of time when all people of all time are standing before God in judgment. These parables are written to give us reassurance in our faith right now and also to give us insight concerning the nature of the coming of the kingdom of God.

Additionally, Jesus teaches in parables at this point in his ministry for two reasons: First, as we saw last week, the Word of God can only be fully understood by those who have the Holy Spirit, so the parable is directed at those who believe, who have the Holy Spirit; those with the Spirit are able to hear and comprehend, not by of their own intellect, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Second, Jesus teaches in parables at this point because most people are not ready to hear His Word. If Jesus spoke in a direct way to the people, they would have been forced to make a decision immediately about who Jesus Christ was, and in that decision, they would have expressed rejection and unbelief. If I can be more direct in what I am saying: these people were not ready to hear the Holy Spirit and if Jesus spoke in a way they could fully understand – everyone would have simply turned their back on Jesus, and walked away. They were not ready to receive the Gospel. So Jesus teaches in this way as explained by verse 23 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus means, anyone who has the Holy Spirit, let them hear through the Spirit.


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