The Word This Week

Mark 4:1…

Isn’t it interesting how God chooses to teach everyone in a manner that draws those who are truly interested in God while separating them from those who are only interested in God for what He can do for them?

This explains why Jesus taught in parables.

To teach in parables is to lay alongside a natural truth everyone can see and understand with a Spiritual truth only those willing to grapple with the Spiritual truth being presented in light of the natural truth will grasp.

This explains why those who “have” will gain even more, and why those who “do not have” will lose everything.

By this time Jesus had drawn a massive crowd to Himself. The question is: Why have they come? We know of the great healings Jesus had performed during these initial days of His public ministry, and it is easy to understand why people would be so drawn to Him – for that very reason. The knowledge of His evident power being given out free of charge had spread far and wide by word of mouth. People were desperate for His touch. If only they could get near Him, they had heard He not only could but would heal them.

But how many had come for His message?

It may seem strange to us that not everyone who comes to Jesus comes to learn from Him about how their lives must change. Just as healing is a picture of what is dead being made alive, so His Word of repentance from this world and its ways is the dead being made alive.

In Jesus’ own estimation, only about one-fourth of those who ever hear His message will respond to what He says in a manner which will assure them of eternal life. This may seem like an unsuccessful ratio in the eyes of the world, and I suppose it is if we think conventionally. But Jesus will never compel anyone to place their faith in Himself and His message – but only those who will.

This is not the fault of the message or the messenger – but the fault within the heart of fallen man which refuses to submit to a message that requires a change of mind and heart in order to gain eternal life and to produce eternal fruit in this life.

Even when there is a great rush of excitement to receive Jesus’ teaching, as in the case of the parables Jesus presents them in this chapter, most of that excitement will fade away quickly once the realization comes much is required of those who bear His message for themselves and to others.

But isn’t it comforting to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, understanding His Word has power to save – for everyone – even if most will choose to either reject it, or fade away quickly from the pressures of this world? Jesus’ example is to keep teaching His Word, even knowing a relative minority will trust His Word for salvation.

It only makes those will MORE valuable and precious to God.

Pastor Bill