Read thru New Testament – February 22, 2017

February 22

 

Mk. 4:1-34-Jesus tells 4 Parables that demonstrate how the Word of God is communicated, how people respond to it, and what it produces in them (cont’d).

Mark 4:21-25-#2 The Parable of the Lamp

This parable demonstrates how the Word reveals all things…even as a lamp reveals what is around it. When someone hears the Word it makes all things clear. When someone hears the Word, they are responsible for what they now know.  So, they should listen carefully and respond in an appropriate manner.  You will only be able to understand the Word to the degree that you are willing to obediently respond (:24-25).

Mk. 4:26-29-#3 The Parable of the Growing Seed

This parable demonstrates how the Word has the ability to grow and will one day result in a great harvest of souls. This is a parable about the growth of the Kingdom of God.  We may not be able to fully explain how the Kingdom of God grows…but we can be certain that one day there will be a time of harvest when the days for growing will end…and we will all stand before God to give an account of our life.  The word “harvest” is often used as a reference to the last days and judgment.  We cannot know exactly when that day will come.  But we should be ready for it to come, right now.

Mk. 4:30-34-#4 The Parable of the Mustard Seed

This parable demonstrates how the Word is initially small but grows larger than any other plant (cf. January 24, Matthew 17:14-21). Jesus says this is a parable about the Kingdom of God and how its population of believers will eventually grow to massive proportions…larger than any other kingdom.

Mk. 4:33-34-Jesus taught many parables "as they were able to hear”…meaning able to understand.  He explained them to His disciples

Mk. 4:35-41-Jesus calms the storm at sea. This was a visual proof of His authority over the earthly realm that substantiated His authority for the verbal proclamation of the Word.  This experience offers a great lesson on faith.  First, in v. 35, Jesus told the disciples that they were going to go to the other side of the lake.  No matter what happened on the lake that day…they should have realized that He had already told them that they were going to make it to the other side.  We can always trust God to fulfill, to accomplish what He has said.  His Word never fails.  Second, when we are in a panic and succumbing to fear…never, ever assume that it must mean that God doesn’t care.  Just because we are in a panic does not mean that God will be, also.  He is calm and composed…because He has absolute control over whatever is assailing us.  Third, He is sovereign over everything…e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!  We may agree with that intellectually…but never lose the wonder, or the awe of Him…”Who then is this…?” Fourth, when Jesus asked, “Why are you so timid? (this word comes from the word “fearful”) How is it that you have no faith?”…He was asking them how much it was going to take, how many miracles was He going to have to perform, before they began to transfer their faith in Him in one instance, to the next.  It was almost as if they compartmentalized their faith in Him.  “I’ve seen Jesus do this…so, I have faith in Him for that need.  I’ve seen Him work this miracle…so, I have faith in Him to handle this problem.”  But somehow, that faith never extends to something else, to a different circumstance.  Jesus is telling us that our faith in Him should expand and broaden until it covers every area of life.  There is nothing that He cannot handle.

Mk. 4:41-The disciples were "very much afraid" when they began to contemplate Who Jesus was as a result of this miracle...they had a greater fear of Him, than they had of the storm.

Prayer: Lord, when I read Your word, please help me to have a clear understanding and to respond to it correctly, in obedience.  I ask You to explain it to me as You did to the disciples because sometimes I am hard of hearing.  And Lord, please help me to always have a more holy awe and fear of You than I do of anything else.  Please help me to always remain in reverence of You. Help me to always find out that You are greater than I ever thought, before!

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