We fully respect if you want to refuse cookies but to avoid asking you again and again kindly allow us to store a cookie for that. To understand a proverb and the interpretation— The proverb is the literal sense, the interpretation is the spiritual resting in the li… The Twelve (Mark 3:7-19) 02/12/06 : The Unforgivable Sin (Mark 3:20-35) 02/19/06 : The Parable of the Soils (Mark 4:1-20) 03/03/06 : Shine the Light (Mark 4:21-25) 03/19/06 : A Parable of Transition (Mark 4:26-29) 03/26/06 : The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Mark 4:30-34) 04/02/06 : Where is Your Faith? It is precisely the lack of the insight into this phenomenon which cripples much of the exegesis coming out of the critical schools. and here is the answer to Nicodemus' question: one does not have to know how! It takes great faith to trust the sleeping Jesus, to know that He cares and works for us even when it does not seem like it. ( mark 4:7 mark 4:18 mark 4:19). See full discussion of this in the Commentary on Romans, p. 318. See under Mark 4:2 for reasons why Jesus spoke in parables. a. Click to enable/disable _gat_* - Google Analytics Cookie. In the New Testament the word parable is used to refer to all these sorts of comparisons and others, too, including proverbs and riddles. Matthew's "all Judaea" is hyperbole. This verse and through Mark 4:25 make up a paragraph of disconnected sayings of Christ, brought together here in a remarkable application in a new context, indicating that the sacred Scriptures have a vitality and meaning of their own, even out of context. In all the references in the above paragraph, the "stand" is conspicuously mentioned as the place for the lighted lamp. The proximity of this verse to Mark 4:19 strongly suggests that the thought connects there rather than with Mark 4:12 as suggested by Cranfield. He could worry about His family who thought He was crazy. iv. 4. "[32] McMillan viewed the harvest as then present at the time Christ spoke: "Harvest has come. This fact derives from the truth that the gospel is not a matter of merely receiving great promises; but it is also a matter of denying self, acknowledging Jesus as Lord, and of deliberately choosing a way of life that is opposed to much that is found in every society. Study the bible online using commentary on Mark 4 and more! ii. cit., p. 294. Mark 4:25 – Matthew 13:12; 25:29. We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. "[14] The fact of our Lord's drawing a number of analogies from it would also suggest the propriety of looking for analogies in all the parables. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. (See list of analogies above). b. (Psalm 89:8-9). They terrify us. You always can block or delete cookies by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies on this website. Less than all seeds ... That certain seeds may be smaller than a mustard seed is no problem. You rule the raging of the sea; when waves rise, You still them. As Cranfield interpreted it: Inherently: Christ warned against hiding the lighted lamp (a) under a vessel (Luke 8:16), (b) under a bushel (Mark 4:21), (c) under a bed (Mark 4:21; Matthew 5:15), or (d) in a cellar (that is, "in a secret place")[23] (Luke 11:33). And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete it shall be measured unto you; and more shall be given unto you. And again he began to teach by the sea side and there is gathered unto him a very great multitude, so that he entered into a boat, and sat in the sea; and all the multitude were by the sea on the land. [29] Richard C. Trench, Notes on the Parables (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Co.), p. 292. Other parables. The Hebrews had but a single word for several English words, including both PARABLE and PROVERB. Chapter 4 opens with a series of parables (the sower, the lamp and the bushel basket, the growing seed, and the mustard seed). They were annoyed that Jesus didn’t help them. Click to enable/disable essential site cookies. He could worry about the future, because He knew what His destiny was. A small boat in a big storm is a scary place, and the initial fear itself isn’t wrong. cit., p. 306. (Mark 4:1), Jesus' innovative method of making a boat the pulpit in an auditorium of land and sea must have been regarded by many of the religious class as sensationalism and stunting; but, as Barclay said, "It would be well if his church was equally wise and equally adventurous."[1]. When they woke Him, they said, “Do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38) When we think Jesus doesn’t care about us, it shows we have no faith, because we don’t believe the truth about Jesus. Nicodemus stumbled in regard to "how can these things be?" Matthew even recorded that Jesus called Peter "Satan" (Matthew 16:23); why, then, should Matthew have been embarrassed to record such an understandable remark as this? The secrets of all men shall be made manifest at the judgment of the great day. d. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow: Jesus’ true humanity is shown by His brief sleep on the boat. It has been suggested by some that Jesus' purpose in giving this parable was to offset any pessimism arising from parables like that of the sower and of the tares, wherein unproductive soils and hostile activity of enemies were stressed. This fact is implicit in the fact that even the Son of God himself refused to accept the Scriptures quoted by the devil, except in the light of what was "again written" elsewhere. This purpose of concealment was a fundamental characteristic of the parables. By proceeding, you consent to our cookie usage. cit., p. 153. The disciples should have known that God would not allow the Messiah to perish in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. The mystery of the kingdom of God ... "Nowhere in the New Testament does this term (mystery) correspond to esoteric knowledge and rites as in the so-called mystery religions of the Roman Empire. You are free to opt out any time or opt in for other cookies to get a better experience. As Dummelow noted: "The human soul is naturally Christian (Tertullian), and Christianity is the `natural religion.' When a violent storm threatens to destroy the boat and its inhabitants, Jesus somehow manages to remain "asleep on the cushion." James Rosscup writes that "This was the great work in the life of the versatile Dean of Canterbury. (MacDonald) These parables in Mark are unlike the other Markan parables for two different reasons. The truth of Mark 4:21 has a double meaning: (a) that which is inherent in it, and (b) that which it denotes in context. An apostle made this to be a congregation of the Lord's church (Revelation 1:20), indicating still another application of this mighty one-sentence parable. And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside—by the side of the hard path through the … Are not most of earth's pleasures "lusts" of various kinds? These are the same words used by Jesus in casting out the demon (Mark 1:25), harmonizing with the view expressed by Trench. As Sanner noted, "If he had spoken to the crowds in a direct way, he would have forced them to make a final decision at once, a decision of unbelief and rejection."[40]. Mark 4 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries; TEACHING IN PARABLES. 7. There are interlocking triple portions in the parable. All this shows the abiding care Jesus has for His people. He resolved the difficulty by applying it "to Christ, though not exclusively. Cranfield described the mystery as the fact "that the kingdom of God has come in the person, words, and works of Jesus. On a first read, Mark 4:35-41 looks like a demonstration of Jesus' astonishing power -- and so it is. As well, Mark tells us other little boats were also with Him. Barclay thought "It means the day when all the world will accept the will of God"[30] Cranfield understood it to mean that the present ambiguity of the kingdom of God will reach a harvest by being "succeeded by its glorious manifestation. i. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit --This case is that of ground not thoroughly cleaned of the thistles, &c.; which, rising above the good seed, "choke" or "smother" it, excluding light and air, and drawing away the moisture and richness of the soil. The mustard tree itself is the kingdom of God, beginning small and becoming great; and the fact that birds can build nests even in small trees makes it unlikely that the birds were introduced into this Parable solely to emphasize the size of it. 4. And he himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion: and they awake him and say unto him, Teacher, carest thou not that we perish? Take heed what ye hear ... has the obvious meaning of enjoining selectivity in the things men choose to hear; but Dummelow advocated another reading as quite possible, "Understand (weigh well the meaning of) what ye hear. The disciples were afraid, but at the same time there were several experienced fishermen among them. The earth beareth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. Mark 4:1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; … The Parable of the Sower. In the literature of all the world, there is nothing to compare with the parables of Jesus. The force of the sea was muzzled as Jesus subdued it with his sovereign word of authority.” (Lane). The interpretation of the various things of this great parable will be undertaken in connection with the Saviour's own explanation of it, beginning in Mark 4:14. THE PROLOGUE TO MARK'S GOSPEL Verses 1-13 constitute the Prologue to Mark's Gospel. As sure as the sun rises, believers in Christ may expect the scorching and withering effect of the world's opposition to the truth. Mark 4 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary is from the most widely read and often quoted preacher in history, Charles Haddon Spurgeon It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth, though it be less than all the seeds that are upon the earth, yet when it is sown, groweth up, and becometh greater than all the herbs, and putteth out great branches; so that the birds of the heaven can lodge under the shadow thereof. The greatness of the tree is the vast extent of the kingdom. The word ... is a proper designation of the truth of the gospel and has been a favorite term in all ages. When we get into such trouble that we cannot help ourselves and feel our entire dependence on him, then he will reveal his power.” (Spurgeon). When the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God is preached in all the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14), the ears that hear it are not always receptive of this priceless knowledge.In the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-8, 19-23; Mark 4:3-9, 14-26; Luke 8:4-8, 11-15), Jesus reveals why, using three component elements: the sower, the seed, and the soils. As Cranfield noted, this verse "suggests in some sense that the parable of the soils is the key to all the parables. Naturally, such a sowing is a jubilee for the birds. And others fell into the good ground, and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing; and brought forth, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold, and a hundredfold. And again he began to teach by the sea side and there is gathered unto him a very great multitude, so that he entered into a boat, and sat in the sea; and all the multitude were by the sea on the land. “The Lord’s sleep was not only the sleep of weariness: it was also the rest of faith, for there is a rest of faith as well as a watch of faith.” (Cole). Read Mark 4 commentary using Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). 2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, [38] Richard C. Trench, op. The three classes of thorns stand for distractions which pertain to responsibilities and duties (cares), the possession or pursuit of wealth (riches), and the pursuit of pleasure, that is, following any sinful pleasure, or the inordinate pursuit of even innocent pleasure. ” (Mark 4:38) When we think Jesus doesn’t care about us, it shows we have no faith, because we don’t believe the truth about Jesus. [7] C. E. B. Cranfield, op. Both Richard A. Batey[17] and John Locke[18] have commented on this, which is actually one of the most important prerequisites for truly understanding Scripture. g. Then He arose and rebuked the wind: Jesus didn’t merely quiet the wind and the sea; He rebuked the wind and the sea. "[38] In the sense that what Christ's servants (his gospel ministers) do is also done by Christ, the gathering into the kingdom or church may be expressed either way, as being done by Christ or by his servants. The smallness of the seed is the smallness of the kingdom's beginning. [2] W. N. Clarke, Commentary on the Gospel of Mark (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: The Judson Press), Vol. "[13] Cranfield also refuted the view which would make this interpretation, not of Jesus, but of the early church. These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience. Jesus called this parable the "parable of the sower" (Matthew 13:18), thus making the emphasis to rest upon God's planting the earth with his truth, for the sower refers to God, and equally to the Son of God. "[29] Many opinions have been advocated as to the meaning of the harvest. The waves beating into the boat, Jesus asleep in the stern on the boat cushion, the fact that the boat was taking on water at an alarming rate - all these mark the account as authentic. The thorns are the cares, riches, and pleasures of life. Mark 4 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a verse level look at the Bible. It is obvious that Jesus used "the same sayings in different contexts,"[19] saying "the same things over and over";[20] and "It is evident that he repeated his sayings, and used them sometimes in a different connection. [5] Thomas Taylor, On the Parable of the Sower, 1634. In this application, the lighted lamp is the Christian, and his lamp should be displayed on the stand, that is in the church or congregation. Of all people, Jesus’ own disciples should have had faith. Otherwise you will be prompted again when opening a new browser window or new a tab. cit., p. 158. This parable contained instruction so important, that all capable of hearing were bound to attend to it... View the entire commentary. And leaving the multitude, they take him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Several of the disciples were experienced fishermen on this very lake, and they were frightened and feared perishing in this storm. Further, the fact of sleeping and rising night and day and that of his not knowing "how" point to man and not to God. Please see our Privacy Policy for cookie usage details. Notice that even with this “simple” parable, the disciples themselves do not understand (Mark 4:10, 4:13, 4:33, 4:34). Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking. Mark 4. In the analogies, the thorns stand for the cares, riches, and lusts of other things, or, as Luke stated it, "cares, riches, and pleasures of this life" (Luke 8:14). He knoweth not how ... is perhaps the key word in the parable. "Their eyes they have closed" (Matthew 13:15) is the true reason why they could not see. The exegesis practiced by many of the critical scholars of postulating what they call "truth" upon this or that isolated passage in one gospel or another is nothing but a somewhat more sophisticated employment of the "proof-text" method so readily condemned in others. Soils do not choose to be thorny ground; but human hearts are endowed with the power to expel the thorns, the power to be good soil, or thorny soil. In the fast-moving current era, perhaps the encumbrances are the greatest deterrent to fruit-bearing. The fact of Mark's rendering this explanation as "lusts of other things," contrasted with Luke's "pleasures of this life," is a pseudocon. Jesus took his message to the seashore and the open sky and delivered the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-9), explained it (Mark 4:10-20), and gave a number of sentence sermons (Mark 4:21-25). Mark 4:36 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Mark 4:36, NIV: "Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.There were also other boats with him." We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. For further thoughts on this parable, see the Commentary on Matthew, pp. Maybe You had better wake up, get a bucket and start bailing along with us, because we are perishing!”, i. 1. In this, Jesus employed a device often used by good teachers, seeking to stimulate thinking on the part of his audience. Sweet Publishing Company, 1973), p. 61. And on that day, when even was come, he saith unto them, Let us go over unto the other side. Mark 4:36, ESV: "And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was.And other boats were with him." Mark 4:4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. Just as the birds could not corrupt the tree, the foul birds whose nests have been built in the kingdom of God cannot corrupt the institution with which they are connected by association only, actually having no identity whatever with it. ii. 2. This is a very good question, for on the surface it does seem to be teaching this. [42] F. N. Peloubet, Peloubet's Bible Dictionary (Chicago: The John C. Winston Company, 1925), p. 208. Could Jesus not have said it twice? iii. There is always some good ground where God's purpose is achieved. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/mark-4.html. HENRY ALFORD The Greek New Testament Commentary on the Gospel of Mark. Jesus could say they had no faith because they forgot the big picture. [22] C. E. B. Cranfield, op. Pleasures may be either sinful or innocent, Luke having reference to innocent pleasures, and Mark to sinful pleasures. "The more complicated life becomes, the more necessity there is to see that our priorities are right."[15]. Now he records five incidents. Even Cranfield referred to it as "a stumblingblock"[8] but admitted the meaning to be that the kingdom of God, "in accordance with Old Testament prophecy, remains hidden from many, ... something that is within the purpose of God. His knowing when to put in the sickle, despite his ignorance of "how" it came about, answers to the ability of men to reap spiritual results without full knowledge of just "how" they are produced (John 3:5ff). The water is fresh and sweet, abounds with fish, and is edged with sparkling pebbly beaches. In this place, as throughout the entire New Testament, the truth is not fully discernible from a single passage; but life and understanding come from the soul's reception of "all that the prophets have spoken" (Luke 24:25), "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4), and of the essential truth that every passage of God's word must be understood in the light of the principle laid down by Jesus Christ that "again it is written" (Matthew 4:7). This beautiful lake was surrounded by at least a dozen towns in the time of Christ and was the most densely populated area of Palestine. "And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, … For further discussion of this parable, see the Commentary on Matthew, (Matthew 13:18-23) pp. ii. It is an inaccurate reading of what Mark here recorded to make it mean that Jesus spoke in parables in order to prevent some people from being saved. Also, any seeds falling upon a pathway, or into thorn-infested ground, were unproductive. If our Saviour and head of our holy religion relied upon the consensus of ALL that the sacred writers had written, how may his servants hope to achieve true knowledge by any other device? And the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Therefore, we shall study this verse both ways, inherently, and in context. "[9] Barclay wrote that "The real difficulty of the passage (is that) if we take it at its face value, it sounds as if Jesus taught in parables deliberately to cloak his meaning, purposely to hide it from all ordinary men and women. And other fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer. [34] Henry E. Turlington, The Broadman Bible Commentary (Nashville: Broadman, Press, 1946), p. 302. Dummelow's understanding of Jesus' repetition of this maxim here seems to be correct: Inherently: This saying of our Lord also has meaning far beyond its application in context, as explained by Dummelow. (3) He thus challenged his disciples to greater spiritual discernment. What the disciples chose to do with the fear made all the difference. Click to enable/disable _gid - Google Analytics Cookie. Mark 4:12, ESV: "so that “'they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven. “It was not a request to Him to do anything; but a protest against His apparent indifference.” (Morgan). But commentaries cannot solve the tensions named above, nor should they. 193-194. It can only be the LORD, Jehovah, who only has this power and authority. Here there is a significant difference between soils and hearts. Inherently: This one-sentence parable is true in any context. And others are they that are shown among the thorns; these are they that have heard the word. THE CONTEXT Jesus' role as teacher is important in this Gospel. The good ground is the faithful hearer who bears fruit. [31] C. E. B. Cranfield, op. They are a perfect representation of the extraneous and unrelated activities which through the ages have associated themselves with it. 4. Notice the “we.” Their idea was, “Hey Jesus, You’re in trouble here too. There are at least two explanations. "[6] "Mystery" in the New Testament sense refers to a glorious truth long concealed but now revealed (Romans 16:25,26).
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