Read Mark 4
Jesus' parables; the storm stilled; a legion of demons cast out; Jairus' daughter raised
In a parable, Jesus described four kinds of responses from those who hear His Word, saying: Behold, there went out a sower to sow. . . . Some (seed) fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up (Mark 4:1-4). This means that some people hear the Gospel with self-destroying indifference. Such is the hearer who expresses no concern for spiritual values because he is too occupied with secular activities. Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the Word that was sown in their hearts (4:15). Others who hear His Word are like seed sown on stony ground (4:5). At first they are receptive but soon lose interest. These are they . . . who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for (because of) the Word's sake, immediately they are offended (4:16-17). "Stony places" means solid rock beneath a shallow covering of soil. These "converts" appear promising and, for a while, full of life; but when they are confronted with a lifestyle that is inconsistent with the Christian life, opposition, or persecution because of the Word of God, they soon quit.
Other "converts" are like seed sown among thorns; such as hear the Word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful (4:18-19). Such people seem to recognize the true worth of Christ and eternal life, but the things of the world soon get their attention. They fail to weed out things and people that keep them from serving the Lord and spiritual interests are eventually crowded out.
But a more serious group of people are like seed sown on good ground; such as hear the Word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred (4:20). By faith, these people break up their stony places and remove the things that hinder spiritual growth. They root out the weeds and thorns of mixed motives from their lives thus making it possible to bear much fruit for God's Kingdom.
Jesus has said to all: I am the Vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit (John 15:5)
4:24 mete = deal out to others; 5:19 suffered him not = refused.
For Mark 4:12: See Isaiah 6:9-10.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Juanita R. Arrington and Norman G. Porter and in honor of Bonnie Wilhite · Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Government Official: Rep. Steven Rothman (NJ) · Country: Slovakia (5 million) central Europe · Major languages: Slovak and Hungarian · Religious freedom · 60% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant; 4% Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourself, pray, and seek the will of God as you read His Word (II Chronicles 7:14).
Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 3:12