February 19th 2018 Mark 3:31-4:25

31 Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him.  32 And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.”

It is often our families that do not understand us. They were there as Jesus was growing up. Even though He never did anything wrong they also did not see crazy miracles or note of Him being the Christ till now. They thought He had lost her mind and were wanting Him to come back and get His life together again, to go back to the family business or something.

33 But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?”34 And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”

Jesus is telling us about the family of God and how those that are in that family are closer than family. Those in the family of God are connected to each other on a spirit level whereas those of family are connected through blood. What does it take to be in the family of God? Jesus lets us know that as well, do the will of His Father, God. Are you obedient to what God has laid out for you? Do you seek to know what that is? God makes His will known to us and He asks us to follow. When we do we are part of His family.

1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.

This acts as a natural amplifier. Have you ever been out camping and have another group camping across the lake from you? There would be times that you could hear clearly what they were doing, it would sound as though they are close to you, and not across the lake. That is because open water like that naturally carries sound waves further. Knowledge of this is why Jesus got into the boat and pushed out aways. It made it so more of the multitude could have what was being said.

2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:

A parable is a story with a hidden deeper meaning. To those who did not truly want to hear it would sound simply like a nice story. To those who wanted to hear or would inquire about it they would hear the deeper meaning.

3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.

7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

There is the parable. They are always about earthly examples that the audience would understand. The land of Israel was that of agriculture. This story of a seed and the birds eating some and some getting choked out by weeds and some producing a harvest would make sense to the people. However, the deeper meaning was lost on some.

10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’”

If we do not understand something do we just walk away or do we inquire. Asking is the only way that we will gain understanding. James tells us that we need only to ask God for wisdom and He will give it to us.

13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

This is a parable about the condition of our hearts. The truth is that we have all been each one of these heart types. We heard the word a few times before it stuck and took root. Often we had a season of quick growth, but did not remain because the roots did not dig down deep. We will have seasons where other worries and concerns pop up and choke out what is going on. But then there are also the heart that is used by God and can produce and increase. We need to be mindful of the condition of our hearts. We do not want to let shalloness or worries to dictate our lack of growth. We want a heart that is open and willing to learn from Him.

21 Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?

The light is this good news that they have just begun to understand. Jesus is telling them that you do not hide the light, you leave the light open for others to see.

22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.

Over the course of His ministry Jesus would share many more secret things with His disciples. At the time that He shared them they world was not ready to listen. It was going to be the disciples responsibility to relay these messages to the multitudes upon Jesus’ death and resurrection. The things that we learn of Jesus, are we sharing them with others? Nothing that is hidden will remain so. Jesus speaks directly to our hearts and He wants us to take that message out and bring others into the family of God.

23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

We, especially as american christians, hear the Word of God, but are we really listening?

24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

To take heed means that we are to listen with action. We hear the Word preached, but do we take action to what it says? The Lord loves to bestow gifts upon His children. To those who have, to those who have accepted the responsibility of spreading the word, more will be added. As an employee at a company you start at bottom level. As you take responsibility over your job and you begin to naturally step up and do more, your boss will add more responsibility to your job. Think about it logically, they are not going to just hand out a management job to someone who is doing nothing. If they do nothing is going to continue to be what the person produces and there company will struggle. God gives us little tasks to do first, and He asks us to be responsible in them and not to despise the days of small things. As we are faithful there and has His timing dictates He gives us more.

 

Caitlin Renee

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