Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode FOUR of the Bible 2021 podcast! Today we are focused on hearing the Word of God well!
Welcome to new listeners in Kerala, India, Hesse, Germany, Paris, France, Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL and Omaha, Nebraska…which will always remind me of Peyton Manning. Thank you for joining us for Bible 2021! We are a daily podcast, where we will dig into ten minutes of truth from the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day. Our focus this year is on DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our new web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more!
Today we are reading Mark 4, which contains one of the keynote parables of Jesus. In fact, I think understanding this parable is sort of an unlock for understanding all of the other parables, so pretty much every study of the parables of Jesus should begin here with the Parable of The Sower. I get this from vs. 13, “Then he said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand all of the parables?” Today we won’t be focusing in exactly on the Sower, but more on a shorter parable that Jesus gives us right after. Let’s read Mark 4, and then we will discuss that extremely important, and yet unnamed parable.
Remember that a parable isn’t just a story, but can also be a fairly simple illustration, as what we find in vss 24-25:
24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and more will be added to you. 25 For whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Mark 4:24-25
The big truth we see here is that THE WORD OF GOD WILL PRODUCE IN US IN CORRELATION TO OUR HEARING. Do we come to the Word with a bucket and a wheelbarrow longing for deep truths to sustain and empower us to bear fruit, or do we come with a thimble, having just enough appetite for a tiny snack? The person who has made some sort of New Year’s resolution to get in excellent physical shape should probably not expect to be very successful if they exercise for five minutes once every fortnight, and don’t change their diet at all. In the same vein, says Jesus here, the amount of God’s Word that you read/hear will determine how much you get out of it. Whatever measure of your time and attention you bring to the Word of God, that is what measure you will get out of it. There are some people who have been in the church for decades, and have called themselves Christians for just as long, but they only know a thimbleful of truth, because they have not dug deep into the Word of God to read and hear more! The writer of Hebrews speaks strongly about this dynamic in Heb. 5:12, “12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food” So Jesus is telling us here to pay great attention to our intake of the Word of God.
Once again, we’ll turn to that old spiritual giant Charles Spurgeon to help us understand the importance of hearing – or hearkening in his old school parlance, to the Word of God:
Then, next, ‘listen carefully;’ that is to say, try to catch every word, do not miss a single syllable. Seek also to drink in the meaning of the truth. Many hear the Word, but not so many ‘hearken diligently’ to it. A little boy heard his father say that, if ever there was a part of a sermon that was likely to bless a soul, he was quite sure the devil would make somebody distract the congregation, so as to take away their attention from the preacher for fear the Word should go home to the heart. So the child listened with both his ears, and all his heart, because he did not know what part of the discourse God might bless to him. Let us do likewise: ‘Hearken diligently.’‘Hearken,’ but ‘hearken diligently unto me,’ saith the Lord. Hearken not to the minister, for he may mislead you; but hearken to God.
Terence Peter Crosby, “Introduction,” in C H Spurgeon’s Forgotten Early Sermons: A Companion to the New Park Street Pulpit: Twenty-Eight Sermons Compiled from the Sword and the Trowel, ed. Terence Peter Crosby (Leominster: Day One, 2010), 275.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for January: Mark 1:15 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
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