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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org 

 

MARK CHAPTERS 3 & 4

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1-6 He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. 2 They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 He said to the man with the withered hand, "Get up and come forward !" 4 And He said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?" But they kept silent. 5 After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

Mk 3,1-6

(178k) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for accusing Him of Sin -- When it came to the Pharisees, the question was: Did they hold their religion above the commandments of God, or did they use their religion as a front? Both are true! They hid their true identity as greedy religious leaders and sacrificed the truth for the sake of money. In these verses Jesus taught them that love was a greater commandment than keeping the Sabbath. Whenever money is a critical component of any religion, that religion bears a resemblance to the religion of the Pharisees (witchcraft). God doesn't need money; He did not institute an expensive religion that would result in making the poor poorer and the rich richer; mere intuition would lead us to that conclusion. Blasphemers are responsible for instituting a religious machine to oppress the oppressed and exalt the themselves. In contrast, God is in the business of exalting the oppressed and humbling those who exalt themselves. 

(241k) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecution to the death >> Kill Jesus because of what He did

(242e) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Persecuting the power of God

Mk 3,1-5

(70e) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiarity (enemy of discernment) >> Spirit grieves over sin -- The Pharisees were scary people; in their hearts they knew Jesus was their Messiah, but they refused to acknowledge that fact, simply because they didn't want to believe it. Man's age-old problem is that he has always felt bigger and more powerful than the truth, just because he can override it. We can choose not to believe the truth about an electric saw, but if we press our hand against the blade while it is turning, we will lose that hand whether we believe it or not. Jesus had all authority in heaven and on earth; He healed thousands of people throughout His ministry, and the Pharisees saw it as common. That is, they quickly became familiar with His ability to wield the power of God. Although it was common for Jesus to heal people, yet He Himself was not a common man. The Pharisees refused to acknowledge Him as a person who obviously came from God, nor respected Him or listened to Him that they might learn something from Him, who could speak to someone and His life-long ailment would immediately disappear. Jesus was grieved by the spirit of unbelief that holds such power over those who are willing to succumb to its tyranny. It is amazing that people can be more convinced by an evil spirit than they are by the Holy Spirit and by physical evidence from heaven, laid before them. The Pharisees had incentive to believe their own lies over what they saw Jesus doing; they were religious leaders, who were highly esteemed among the people and very wealthy; they didn't want to lose their position and power. So, it was incentive that made them choose a lie over the truth. What incentive do we have to believe a lie?

(145a) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Methods of healing >> Healed by speaking the word

Mk 3-5

(69d) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Righteous anger >> God is angry at sin

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7-19 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, 8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him. 9 And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the crowd, so that they would not crowd Him; 10 for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed around Him in order to touch Him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, "You are the Son of God!" 12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was. 13 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons. 16 And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter ), 17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, "Sons of Thunder "); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.

 

Mk 3,7-10

(143l) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> It is popular to follow Jesus -- These verses go with verse 20. Jesus was very popular, and it didn’t take Him long to get that way. They came to hear the word of God and to be healed of their diseases and to see signs, wonders and miracles. Some had good reasons for seeking Him; others had less than positive motives. The fact that people had to go to Him was due to one person, who changed Jesus’ ministry from a traveling evangelist to staying in place outside the city limits. The leprous man whom Jesus healed changed His method of ministry (Mk 1,40-45), telling everyone about Jesus after being sternly warned to keep silent, except to show himself to the priest, and it doesn’t say he even did that. The fact that he did the opposite of Jesus’ command reeks of rebellion.

Mk 3,8-12

(144k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Methods of healing >> Healed by touching Jesus

Mk 3-11,12

(46j) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Demons are subject to Christ – Jesus’ works testified that He was the Son of God, but He would not want anyone publicizing that fact, such as when He cast out the demons, He would not allow them to speak, because they wanted to expose His true identity in attempt to obfuscate the purpose of God. Jesus didn’t want people to know He was the Son of God, because people would have hailed Him as king and expected Him to deliver them from the Romans, and His mission was not to defeat their natural enemies, but to defeat their spiritual enemies, sin and death, including Satan, the person of sin.

Mk 3,13-19

(93g) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> Disciples follow Him – The acts of many of the twelve apostles are known only by Church history and not by the Scriptures themselves. For example, we know nothing at all about the acts of Bartholomew, Philip, Andrew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus and Simon the Zealot. Less than half of the twelve received notoriety in the Scriptures: Peter, John, Mark and Matthew. James the brother of John was mentioned only by the fact that he was the first to be martyred without mentioning any of his accomplishments.

(146h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Deliverance from demon possession >> Disciples have authority to cast out demons – When we go to cast out demons as born-again Christians and at the same time as sinners, this makes us part of the system we are trying to convert, making the demons less threatened by us than they were of Jesus who was without sin. However, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and we know the truth, and they are threatened by that, so much that Jesus promised they will come out at our word, though sometimes only through fasting and prayer. We are the children of God, and we know they know it, and for this reason they must obey us. The day will come when we will live in heaven and they will burn in hell, all because of the circumstances that are already set in motion. If we will live above them, then we should live above them now. We have received Jesus' blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin, and our destiny is the Kingdom of Heaven, and our position with Christ is far above the demons.

Mk 3,13-15

(45l) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Satan VS the saints >> Fighting against Satan -- These verses go with verses 23-27. The demons that Jesus and His disciples exorcized were those whose hosts wanted to be free of them. We know the Pharisees and others who had Jesus crucified were riddled with demons, but Jesus never attempted to exorcize them, because they were not interested in getting rid of them, nor were they interested in Jesus' interpretation of freedom. They preferred their own version of freedom: holding others in bondage while exploiting them to live luxuriously off their backs as prestigious leaders of Israel. The demons were helping them achieve their goals while they used the Pharisees to corrupt society. According to Scripture, they brought demon possessed people to Jesus, wanting to be free of them, evidenced by coming to Jesus against the will of the demons that possessed them. However, we watch TV and see the Exorcist coming to the demon-possessed person, and they have all kinds of problems casting out the demons, because the host has not yet shown an interest in freedom.

(149i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Authority of the rhema given to evangelism >> Receiving authority from God personally Jesus selected His twelve disciples and brought them to a secluded place in the mountains to talk to them regarding what they can expect in the coming months. He told them about the authority He intended to give them, which was something most people would enjoy, yet not everybody is interested in following Jesus. He picked those who wanted to follow Him and then gave them authority in that order, for God doesn’t give authority to those who don’t follow Him. He gave authority to preach the gospel and to cast out demons. Those two things go hand-in-hand, not just preaching the gospel and not just casting out demons but both, for the evangelist will encounter demons along his way sure as the world is controlled by them.

Mk 3-15

(68c) Authority >> Jesus delegates authority to execute judgment against Satan

 

20-22 And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, "He has lost His senses." 22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons."

 

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Mk 3,20-30

(18k) Sin >> Twisted thinking >> Unable to distinguish between good and evil >> God’s works are evil

(195c) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Serving two masters >> You can only believe in one at a time – Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit has no forgiveness; it involves a breach of conscience; they speak against their own knowledge of the truth. The Scribes and Pharisees knew He was performing miracles by the power of God. They knew Jesus was fulfilling Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. The spiritual leaders of Israel knew the Scriptures backward and forward; they knew what to look for in their Messiah, and Jesus was fulfilling Scripture left and right, yet they refused to believe He was the expected one. They saw in Jesus everything their Messiah would portray, and so in their hearts they knew Jesus was their Messiah, yet they called Him the leader of demons. They said their Messiah was of the devil, blaspheming the Holy Spirit, speaking against their conscience, denying what they knew was true, which had the effect of hardening their hearts. The more they blasphemed the Holy Spirit, the more their hearts were hardened, until finally they determined that the truth was false and all their lies were true. This is what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does: it keeps us from knowing the truth, hence it disqualifies us from heaven. There is another type of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit that is less severe but more common, and has virtually happened to us all, when God speaks to us and we don’t do what He said. That too is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and that too also has the ability to harden our hearts. The reason it is unforgivable is that the fruit we would have produced had we obeyed Him will never come to fruition. We cannot repent of it, and whatever is unrepentable is unforgivable. These two examples of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit are different in that one keeps us from the rewards of heaven while the other keeps us from heaven itself. See also: Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit; Mk 3,22-30; 186b

Mk 3-20,21

(70g) Authority >> Sin of familiarity >> Familiar with the truth (enemy of discernment) >> Familiar with Jesus in the flesh -- Note that when it says that Jesus' family came to take custody of Him, it did not refer to His mother, and probably not even His brothers, but secondary relatives such as aunts and uncles. They thought He had lost His senses because a large crowd was following Him. He wasn't manipulating anyone; they followed Him on their own volition. Instead of being open-minded and investigating why the multitudes were seeking Jesus, they automatically assumed He was out of His mind. They reacted to Him in this way because they thought they knew Him; He grew up with them; they knew His mother and Father and His brothers, but there was a side to Jesus no one had ever seen until the onset of His ministry. The element of familiarity is a natural, psychological response to the things we experience every day. An analogy to our affinity to acclimate to the environment is found in our nose. We walk in the house and smell dinner cooking, and within minutes there is only a friendly reminder in the air about our next meal. Another analogy is heroin addiction; the body requires greater doses to feel the same effect. People who have been thrown into concentration camps (and the like) initially meet it in abject horror, but then soon acclimate to the circumstances, and the terror of it subsides to a near manageable level. Familiarity works as a defense mechanism to minimize the trauma in times of adversity, but it often has a negative effect by filtering out important information essential for interpreting the events that occur. Filtered information is not destroyed but is simply tucked into a dark closet of our brain, requiring us to get up and search for it, which usually we just don't do, explaining the power of its effect on us. We loose track of the trail of events that led to our present circumstances, and before we know it we are marooned on a shallow reef and don't know how we got there. This phenomenon happens not only to individuals but also to whole societies. People and cultures change and no one is in control of the changes. One of Satan's favorite tricks is to capitalize on this breech of human reasoning; that is why some people rightly call it a spirit of familiarity. See also: Spirit of Familiarity; Mk 3,21-30; 203c

(182b) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Deception >> Self deception >> Believing you know God when you don’t – Whenever someone is confronted with the gospel, they basically have three choices: accept it, reject it or make up a story about their experience. If they reject the gospel, they must deal with their conscience, and if they accept it, they must change their lives. In either case they will have to change, so to avoid change they make up a story to say that it never happened. Jesus was just a neighborhood friend or relative; the fact that He performed miracles is incidental. They use the story as a means of denying their own eyes and ears. We think we know when we don't, and we think we don't know when we do.

Mk 3-20

(94b) Thy kingdom come >> Perspective on wealth in this life – It says that Jesus came home. He grew up in Nazareth, and when He returned during His ministry, the people rejected Him. Jesus was so unassuming prior to His ministry that people refused to believe in Him even after He performed untold miracles, and now Nazareth doesn’t exist. Perhaps if Jesus were gifted with the ability to make war and fight, people would then believe in Him, for these are the things that people understand and appreciate, but to be a good person, nobody cares. Jesus had a career prior to His ministry as a carpenter, and so He probably had enough money to build a house. He came home to it and was mobbed by a crowd so large they couldn’t even eat a meal. According to Scripture, He didn’t enjoy being mobbed, preferring rather to sit in a boat just off shore speaking to the people. Did Jesus really own a house? That sounds strange; we don’t think about Jesus owning things, but why not? To own things and have things is not evil; what is evil is prioritizing them over the love of God. He was thirty years old before He started His ministry, and His father, Joseph, taught Him his trade. The Bible says that He had no place to lay His head. If Jesus owned a house, He didn’t use it during His ministry, so He probably let others use it or gave it to someone.

(143l) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> It is popular to follow Jesus -- This verse goes with verses 7-10

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Mk 3,21-30

(203c) Denying Christ >> Dishonor God by not receiving Him – We have all heard it said, "I won't believe it until I see it," yet Jesus’ hometown saw everything and believed nothing. An attitude like this is not prepared to believe the truth, even if they saw the Kingdom of God manifested before their very eyes. Faith, then, is by no means inferior to our eyes and ears. Since our five senses are in some ways unreliable, it is just as well to trust our faith in the truth, and when it comes to God, faith is all the more reliable. We know God exists by His creation, and we know He can’t lie by our Bible, and we instinctively know He loves us. All Jesus’ townspeople needed was to apply their faith and believe the facts presented to them, but they wouldn’t do it. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place, unwilling to believe their senses and frankly unable to believe. What did they have left but unbelief, which doesn’t believe anything, except “no.” This is its answer to everything. Paul said, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes” (2Cor 1-20), so unbelief is just the opposite of faith Jesus ministered to people who received Him, who didn't previously know him, their familiarity of Him removed. Satan uses this familiarity, and that is why it is called a spirit of familiarity. Man denies what he refuses to believe, prompting Jesus to say, “No prophet is welcome in his hometown” (Lk 4-24).

Mk 3-21,22

(242f) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting Jesus 

Mk 3,22-30

(114h) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Jesus does God’s work >> All his works are done through the father >> Jesus exercises His will through the will of His Father – Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit has always been an issue with people; many are afraid of it and wonder if they have ever been guilty of the unpardonable sin. We have an example of it; they said He was casting out demons by the ruler of demons. This was a slam against Christ, so how were they blaspheming the Holy Spirit when He was never mentioned? Jesus didn’t perform miracles by His own power but through the power of the Spirit. Jesus said, “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him” (Lk 12-10). The Scribes and Pharisees were not slamming Jesus when they said this, they were slamming His Father who worked miracles through Christ. Jesus didn’t perform miracles by His own power but by the Spirit of His Father.

(186b) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Blasphemy >> Cursing the Holy Spirit >> Consider the work of the Holy Spirit to be sin -- Jesus explained to the people that it was impossible for Him to casts out demons by the ruler of demons, for that would mean Satan was self-destructive (which actually he is). Therefore, the best definition of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is: Attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil, but that definition can be generalized to accommodate other situations. For example, blaspheming the Holy Spirit can also be seen as: Holding the Holy Spirit in contempt, disobeying the Holy Spirit, and cursing the Holy Spirit. Each case doesn't depart from the parent meaning of associating the Holy Spirit with evil. People can curse Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will convict them of sin, but who will convict them of shunning the Holy Spirit? He is the persuader of truth; those who reject Him reject their only hope of ever knowing the truth. The reason God cannot forgive them is that they no longer have the capacity to believe, since they have rejected the Spirit of faith. People of this caliber are walking down a one-way street without the option to retrace their steps. They cannot repent of this sin. It has a place in the mystery of lawlessness (2The 2-7). See also: Blasphemy; Mk 3-28,29; 185g

 

23-29 And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 "If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 "If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! 27 "But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. 28 "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin "- 

 

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Mk 3,23-27

(39j) Judgment >> Jesus defeated death >> Jesus defeated this world system >> Jesus defeated Satan in the world -- Jesus said in these verses, "No one can enter the strong man's house ... unless he first binds the strong man." Jesus plundered Satan of human souls on the cross, but how did He first bind the strongman?  Jesus bound Satan the same way the Bible commands us to bind the strongman, He first put His physical body under subjection to the will of God and took away Satan's potential to thwart our efforts against Him. One of Satan's titles is accuser of the brethren. In a sense, Jesus went to court with the devil and Satan posed as Christ's prosecutor and did everything in His power to come up with or create a single shred of evidence to convict Jesus of sin, but couldn't find any. This is how Jesus bound the strong man and took away his power.

(45l) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Subjecting your flesh >> Satan VS the saints >> Fighting against Satan -- These verses go with verses 14&15. There are a lot of things people believe about spiritual warfare, pertaining to flailing arms, high pitched noises and general madness, none of which is scary to the devil -- perhaps entertaining. At the heart of the matter the Bible very clearly states that our greatest enemy is not the devil, but the sin nature that gains opportunity through our flesh. So, if we seriously want to practice some high intensity, effective spiritual warfare and bind the strongman, we must first become sober minded as you ought and stop sinning (1Cor 15-34). We gain authority over the devil by realizing your authority that God has given us in Christ as the package deal of our salvation, and then letting the knowledge of God transform us into something that is opposite of Satan. It is the contrast between light and darkness that gives us power over Him. we can't order the devil around if he is just a little darker than our own heart.

(129m) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Being in one accord >> Single minded >> Avoid contradicting yourself

Mk 3,23-26

(46i) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Satan falls by his own wickedness -- Satan has sown division in the Church, but is his house in order? He would like us to believe that he gives us all his junk but keeps his good qualities to himself. He doesn't have any good qualities. Jesus called Satan the god of this world; he is not in charge of what little order there is in the world. When Satan goes to create His own empire through the antichrist, he will personally run it into the ground (Rev 17,15-17). He is the son of destruction. He cannot help but self-destruct; he is destined for failure. 

Mk 3,28-30

(157i) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of being hell-bound >> Having a reprobate mind 

Mk 3-28,29 

(185g) Blasphemy (Key verse) -- If God can forgive mankind for crucifying His Son, He can forgive any sin, except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which destroys the conscience, and conscience is how we interface with God. Once we destroy our conscience, we can no longer hold a sincere faith. If there is a shred of conscience left in us, God can mend it, but once the light of our conscience dies all hope dies with it. The apostle Paul appeared to have a reprobate mind, but in fact he didn’t, so what was the difference? Saul should have known better when he committed his terrible atrocities against the saints, thinking he was serving the God of the Old Testament (1Tim 1-13) by stamping out factions. The Bible talks about sins committed in ignorance that do not have the effect of hardening our heart, as opposed to sins committed in full knowledge, such as with the Pharisees who sentenced Jesus to death, knowing He was the Son of God. This is something Paul would not have done. John 12-37 says, “Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.” Here is another example of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit: if we witness an actual miracle such as a healing, and we don't believe it was from God (we thought the healing was a hoax), that is forgivable, but if we knew the person our whole life, and that person was always crippled, yet we still refused to believe the healing was a miracle, that kind of unbelief leads to a hardened heart from which we will eventually be unable to repent, because in our heart we know the truth. The reprobate mind is a mental state in which the person can no longer distinguish between truth and error. We can reject Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will convict us of sin, but who will convict us of rejecting the Holy Spirit? He is the persuader of truth; those who reject Him reject their only hope of knowing the truth. How can we believe after we have rejected the Spirit of faith? After Paul’s vision along the road to Damascus he could have discounted his experience and blew it off as nothing more than a bit of porridge souring the stomach (Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens). This slight change in conclusion would have been the first step in developing a reprobate mind. (For further understanding about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and the reprobate mind read Jude 4-13.) See also: Blasphemy; Mk 3,20-30; 195c

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30-35 because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit." 31 Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. 32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You." 33 Answering them, He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers?" 34 Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers! 35 "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother."

 

Mk 3-30

(145g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> Demon possession >> Human state >> Filthiness >> That which Is unclean

Mk 3,31-35

(173a) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Catholicism >> Scripture that contradicts the catholic faith >> Relationship between Jesus and His mother >> Jesus is our savior, not Mary -- This verse seriously downplays Mary's role as a figure of deity, as though she were made equal with God because of her matronly role with Christ. The Catholic mind sees her as someone who can hear and answer prayer; however, these verses teach that Mary was no different from other women who believe in God's Son. Jesus was saying that any older woman who believes in Him is like a mother to Him, and in so saying, Mary, who believed in Jesus, was like any other mother who trusted Christ for her salvation. Mary finds herself common among women of faith, though special in her bloodline. Her flesh has since rotted, leaving only her faith in Christ, which puts her equal with all God's children. 

Mk 3,33-35

(102a) Thy kingdom come >> Ambitious to fulfill God’s calling >> To see God’s will in your life

(127h) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Goodness >> Rewards for doing good >> Doing good is the will of God – It is not the one who believes in a certain set of doctrines or the one who claims to be a Christian who is akin to Christ, but the one who does the will of God. What is the will of God? It is summarized in the Ten Commandments and performed through love.

(131a) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Interdependent on each other to do the will of God – Jesus did the specific will of God; He had a calling and fulfilled it. He knew His calling not just because He was the Son of God, but more specifically because He had an ear to hear what the Spirit was saying. The Spirit also speaks to each of us, and it is up to us to develop an ear that is able to hear what He is saying. Jesus’ calling was not just to go to the cross, but also to preach the gospel, so His apostles could build upon the foundation that He started. The Bible teaches that every person has a calling from God, and every person who knows his calling and is doing it is brother and sister and mother to Christ and relative to each other. This creates interdependence on each other to do the will of God for the goal of establishing unity in the body of Christ. Unity can only form when all the members are functioning properly. Each of us were born to do a certain thing, which will lead us to become a certain person. We are new creatures in Christ, “old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2Cor 5-17). God wants us to make that a reality in our lives as a manifestation that is observable, so people can look at us and see that something remarkable has happened to us. The confidence we build in people about our faith will ensure interdependency on each other so we can depend on each other to do the will of God and contribute to the body of Christ and be a blessing to our fellow saints, so whatever is needed they can trust us to provide it. We have their best interest at heart; that is what people need to know about us.

 

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Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible ® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org 

 

MARK CHAPTER 4

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1-10 He began to teach again by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land. 2 And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching, 3 "Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 "Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. 6 "And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 "Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 "Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." 9 And He was saying, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." 10 As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables.

 

Mk 4-1,2

(239h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Teachers are construction workers >> Jesus is a teacher – After Jesus became popular, He was persecuted, and so He responded by going into the wilderness and performing most of His ministry along the road between towns. In this way we could almost say that Jesus wilderness experience when He was tempted by the devil never really ended until His death. His whole ministry was a wilderness experience with His persecutors always hunting Him, difficulties abounded, yet through it all He performed His ministry and accomplished His Father’s will. He got into a boat because the crowds were large; He set into the water a little ways so people would not crowd Him, and He taught them many things, speaking in parables, partly because the Kingdom of Heaven was so unlike anything we had ever known, and possibly for the bigger reason that people did not believe. He spoke everything in parables, so they never understood; being disobedient, He was protecting them from His Father, for the more they knew and didn’t do, the more God would judge them.

Mk 4-1

(143k) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Witnesses of Jesus >> Jesus is popular because of His words

Mk 4,3-9

(225h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about the garden of the kingdom >> Parables about seeds -- These verses go with verses 13-20. 

Mk 4-3

(79j) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word >> Listen to the word >> Listen to Jesus -- This verse goes with verse 24

Mk 4-4

(168i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> Deaf to the word of God from a lack of understanding -- This verse goes with verse 15. The seed that fell on the road had no chance of growing, and the birds consumed it. These birds represent demons; the devil snatches the word from people’s hearts if they don’t believe it, so they cannot later change their minds and believe. This is what happened to the disciples when Jesus told them He would be crucified; they didn’t want to believe it and so the word He spoke became fair game to demons, and they snatched the word from their minds.

Mk 4-7

(49d) Judgment >> Those who are unfruitful in His kingdom are destroyed -- This verse goes with verses 18&19. Often God speaks to people, but they don’t like what they hear, so they reject His purpose for themselves. They are unwilling to drop the things of the world, because what God has for them is contrary to their fleshly desires. It is not that God is trying to stop us from doing what we like, but that we as sinners are repulsed by the will of God and want to go as far from Him as possible. We interpret our lives mostly in terms of dollars and cents, but He has a list of goals for us to meet that if we met them would prepare us for eternity. If we only do what we want, the day of our death will catch us by surprise. Faith becomes cloudy when our obedience is incomplete. We know that faith is a matter of trusting God; when we first believed, it was easy, but over time our disobedience depreciates our faith to a hollow set of doctrines.

(160k) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Temptation to walk in unbelief >> Tempted to pursue your addictions -- This verse goes with verses 18&19

(128k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life is a way of survival -- This verse goes with verses 18&19. What did Jesus say about unfruitful Christians? It is a way of survival! If the apple tree is producing, fine, but if it is unproductive, the farmer cuts it down and plants a new tree in its place, according to Lk 13,6-9. The branch that doesn’t bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (Jn 15-6).

(172e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Communion between the world and the Church >> The Church in the world -- This verse goes with verses 18&19. Thorns in this parable represent unsaved people in the world. The good seed is not planted in a garden with other garden plants, but in a patch of thorns in the company of worldly people, who influenced him to abandon his faith. The thorns loomed over the good seed limiting the amount of sunlight getting to the shorter plant, choking out the light, and finally it died from a lack of sunlight.

(206l) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> Perish in your sin >> Perish from a lack of fruit (starvation) -- This verse goes with verses 18&19

Mk 4-9

(168l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> God does not speak to people who will not hear Him -- This verse goes with verses 11&12. Jesus never did anything to help someone hear better, except physically heal him, but if he were physically deaf, there was nothing He could do. The sower took a handful of seed and threw it, letting the seeds fall where they may; he didn’t carefully plant each one. Jesus was speaking to those who fell on the good soil when He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” That is, ‘He who landed on good soil, let him grow.’ Jesus wasn’t speaking this to those who fell on the road or on rocky soil or among the weeds. He was saying, ‘Now that you are one of the fortunate seeds, make sure you grow.’

Mk 4,10-12

(142c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Old Testament bears witness to the new >> Prophesy about evangelism – Verse 12 says, “While seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.” It doesn’t say they didn’t see; it says they saw His miracles but didn’t perceive their significance. They heard the word of God but its meaning eluded them. Jesus didn’t want everybody to recognize Him as the Messiah or to believe in Him and be forgiven for one important reason: because most of them would have fallen away. Many of them would have been like the seeds He mentioned in His parable, which landed on the road, the rocky soil and among the thorns. Every seed has one chance to grow. A seed can remain dormant for years, then watered and suddenly come to life, but the resulting plant must continue to grow after that, for if it dies it doesn’t go back to being a seed or have a second chance. Another reason Jesus spoke in parables was to make people seek the truth, so when they found it they would be ready to obey it. Many people think they are interested in God, or maybe they get talked into becoming a Christian, yet six months later they are looking for the back door. If a person doesn’t seek the Lord before he gets saved, the likelihood of staying with His faith is remote. Seeking God is the germination process.

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11-17 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN." 13 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables? 14 "The sower sows the word. 15 "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16 "In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.

 

Mk 4-11,12

(168l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> God does not speak to people who will not hear Him -- These verses go with verse 23. Great multitudes were gathered, and Jesus spoke to them in parables, so that no one understood what He was saying, except those who came and asked Him. The parables were meant to hide the truth of God’s word from the minds of people, but then he said in verse 22, “Nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.” He spoke in parables, yet it was not His wish that people remained ignorant of what He was saying, but that His word would be revealed in them and that the truth would come to light in their hearts. It requires them to seek God for the truth.

(219d) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God transforms the world into the Church >> God chooses to speak to whomever He wishes – Why didn’t Jesus want them to believe? Isn’t it the will of God for people to turn from their wicked ways and believe in Jesus and be healed of their godlessness? Talk to just about any preacher and he would say Jesus came that we might believe in Him, yet He spoke to the people in parables. If He wanted people to believe in Him, why didn’t He speak plainly? Speaking in parables kept control in His hand, and only those who believed understood. If people refused to believe in Him, God would not even give them a chance to believe; at the same time He provided a way for those who have been chosen to believe in Him. Only those who are drawn to Christ seek His truth and find it.

(221h) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides his divinity from man’s corruption >> He hides behind the veil – When Jesus used the word "outside" in verse 11, He was talking about everybody except those who sought Him for an answer to the parable. For example, the whole world "outside" is a big place, but the house inside is much smaller. This means few people are being saved, compared to the masses who are outside the will of God. He hides from people until they are ready to seek Him, but most people don't ever reach this point. When a seed begins to grow but then dies, both the seed and the plant are wasted, like the parable of the wine and the wineskins. A person who falls away from God after being enlightened expresses unbelief in the things he knows are true. This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and the guilty party is in danger of developing a reprobate mind, similar to the Pharisees. A person can have a genuine experience with God and get saved, and then later decide that this is not what he wants and abandon his faith. He can change his mind the next day and be salvaged, but if he continues in this vein, eventually the truth will die in him, and when he looks back, he will deny the whole experience as though it never happened. This sadly is common in Christendom the closer we near the coming of Christ. A Christian who falls away from the faith is worse than an unbeliever, because they have no hope of believing in God again.

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Mk 4,13-20

(128i) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life >> Be fruitful and multiply >> Growing spiritually

(225h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about the garden of the kingdom >> Parables about seeds -- These verses go with verses 26-32

Mk 4-13

(109ha) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Spirit the teacher >> Spirit interprets the word for us -- Every misinterpretation of Scripture big or small throughout all church history has accumulated to this generation and represents suppression of God's word and oppression of the truth. Without the truth the Holy Spirit can do nothing, and without the Holy Spirit no one can perceive His truth. Although the disciples had the tremendous advantage of spending 3 years with Jesus, they no less had a difficult time understanding Him. We have the advantage of hindsight that can tell us where they went wrong, but it cannot tell where we are going wrong. Only the Holy Spirit can lead us lead us into faith in all the truth. 

(225b) Parables (Key verse)

Mk 4-14

(149g) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Preaching the word to the world >> Sowing the seed

Mk 4-15

(25i) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Thief >> Someone stealing from you

(168i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> Deaf to the word of God from a lack of understanding -- This verse goes with verse 4

(183h) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Spirit of Error (Anti-Christ / Anti-Semitism) >> Spirit of the broad road >> Spirit of unbelief -- The soil beside the road is typically packed-down gravel, not conducive to growing anything. If a seed is found here, it is most likely doomed, like trying to grow beside the devil. People who have the spirit of unbelief will tell you they have chosen not to believe, based on their own discretion, but according to Scripture that is not how it works. The Bible teaches that when the Holy Spirit knocks on the door of their heart, they have an obligation to answer the door and respond to His call, because if they don't, someday He will stop knocking, and soon after someone else will come knocking in His place. If they listen to him instead, they will have crossed a spiritual line they cannot recross. In other words they will have blasphemed the Holy Spirit. They will still not believe, but from then on they will no longer be in control of their unbelief, but will be in bondage to the spirit of unbelief. They may never know about this line they crossed, until the day they want to change their minds and believe in God and discover they can't. It is not in them to believe, that is, the Holy Spirit is not in them, and that is how it will stay, "As I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter my rest" (Heb 3-11). Remember Esau who despised his birthright/inheritance (Gen 25,25-34). 

Mk 4-16,17

(243a) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Reacting to persecution >> Falling away through persecution – On rocky soil the seed is well hidden from birds, but because of a lack of soil the roots have no place to go. Almost all plants have a taproot that goes straight down, and there are other roots that grow outward seeking water, similar to the trunk of a tree and its branches. The taproot has two purposes; it reaches deep into the soil looking for nutrients and moisture, and it also holds the plant erect so it doesn’t topple in a windstorm. On rocky soil, the taproot is denied access to moisture deep in the ground, so the root system is stifled and the plant has close to no chance of surviving. Consequently, those on rocky soil fall away due to affliction or persecution. “Affliction” means suffering. They fall away because they don’t understand why God allows their suffering. Some understand suffering, until it comes to their house; then they get mad at God and fall away from the faith. They had no firm root; this is the problem. Affliction and persecution refer to stress on the plant; because of its lack of root system it can’t take any kind of pressure. Those who neglect the garden of their hearts and let the weeds grow are those who claim that if the Mark of the Beast were introduced in their lifetime, they would never take it, but if they don’t show any diligence in cultivating their faith in good times, what will they do when the antichrist comes and presents his mark? They will become like the seed that fell on rocky soil and immediately fall away.

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18-20 "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 "And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."

 

Mk 4-18,19

(24d) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Pursuit of happiness creates anxiety -- Most people's quarry is in the "pursuit of happiness". There are essentially two forms of fear: the fear of losing what we have gained, and the fear of not obtaining what we want. These are two sides of the same coin. The American dream is built on the fear of these two destructive forces otherwise known as materialism. We think that building up storehouses of things will make us feel more secure, but in fact it has the opposite effect. There really is no such thing as "security"; it is merely a feeling, which to insurance companies is their product. The only true security is knowing we are going to heaven when we die. This seed in Jesus' parable that was sown among the thorns represents people in competition with each other in the same way that weeds compete with fruitful plants for sunlight. It doesn't give us a warm, fuzzy feeling to live among people who are analogous to briers in a dog-eat-dog world that and if we invade their space are likely to get pricked. Jesus was saying that it is easy for a person to lose their faith competing in the rat-race. He advised to seek contentment instead of things. There is ironically more security in contentment, and it also gives more opportunity to seek God than materialism that deserves the same rebuke Jesus gave to the Pharisees who sought the recognition of men, "You have your reward in full." 

(49d) Judgment >> Those who are unfruitful in His kingdom are destroyed -- These verses go with verse 7

(74e) Thy kingdom come >> Heart is man’s central value system >> Where man interprets worth -- A lack of contentment can steal our faith by believing there are other things just as important as salvation in life. A discontented heart lumps together the world's treasures with our love for God, and cannot differentiate between the two. What we desire proves what we value. God is good, but if we want other things more than Him, it proves that goodness is not important to in us. 

(128k) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing fruit >> Living a fruitful life is a way of survival

(160k) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Temptation to walk in unbelief >> Tempted to pursue your addictions -- These verses go with verse 7

(172e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Communion between the world and the Church >> The Church in the world -- These verses go with verse 7

(197g) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Man withers when he is in control >> Distracted from a fruitful life

(206l) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> Perish in your sin >> Perish from a lack of fruit (starvation) -- These verses go with verse 7. The seed that fell among the thorns must compete with other plants that block out the sun, so the fruit-bearing plant eventually suffocates from a lack of sunlight. Seed that fell on good soil is where competition is less threatening and can push down its taproot to anchor itself and find moisture. Most garden plants don’t grow well in the wild; they are domesticated and need a gardener, like tomatoes and all the garden plants. This is because the plant diverts much of its energy to growing the fruit. This makes them lousy competitors of weeds that grow very fast and intercept the sunlight. If it isn’t growing in a tended garden, chances are it will not grow at all. We are the gardeners of our own heart; it is our job to ensure a vibrant, spiritual life. We can’t actually cause the growth, but we can do things to foster it. Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” (1Cor 3-6). God is also the vinedresser, and His job is to cut off the branches that don’t bear fruit. They may be well enough alive, but if they don’t bear fruit, they will be removed, thrown into a pile of dead branches and burned (Jn 15-6). If we do our part and weed our garden and water it occasionally, we should have no concerns, but if we are a branch on the tree that bears no fruit, we risk being pruned.

(249j) Priorities >> God’ s preeminence >> Wealth >> World’s perception of wealth >> The world's wealth erodes good values >> The world’s wealth is deceitful

Mk 4-20

(234j) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Relinquishing your assets to Christ >> Investing every asset into Christ -- This is the good soil that liquidates all assets and invests everything into the Kingdom of God. We cannot control where we were born and raised; this parable is not about our physical location, but about the condition of our heart. God is interested in us doing what we can with what we have, and one thing we can do is prepare to receive the word of God. Don't seek an expensive lifestyle and ask God to help you manage it. Seek to live moderately with your needs met and stay out of debt, so you will be in a position to receive the word implanted on good soil when the sower comes and sprinkles His seed in the garden of your heart.

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21-25 And He was saying to them, "A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? 22 "For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. 23 "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." 24 And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. 25 "For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

 

Mk 4-21,22

(112i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light exposes sin >> Light reveals hidden motives

(212h) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> God is all knowing >> Nothing hidden >> God exposes things hidden in darkness

(226a) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about lamps

Mk 4-22

(109g) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Revelation of God >> Revelation of the word >> Revelation of the truth

Mk 4-23

(79k) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word >> Listen to the word >> He who has ears to hear, let him hear -- This verse goes with verse 33

(168l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> God does not speak to people who will not hear Him -- This verse goes with verse 33

Mk 4-24,25

(226h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Rewards of heaven >> Levels of reward >> God rewards us to the degree of our faithfulness

Mk 4-24

(26l) Sin >> Consequences of sin >> Curse >> Deeds that return to the doer >> Words of your mouth – “Take care what you listen to,” for by your standard of measure it will be measured in return. These are not two separate principles, but one cause-and-effect system. Whatever we allow ourselves to hear we will eventually believe, which is what we will practice and teach others, and these will be measured to us in return. If we listen to Jesus, we will believe the truth and then practice and teach it to others, and these will return to us, and more will be given us besides. But if we are not careful, we fill our hearts with nonsense, and whatever negative consequences result will return to us, and more will be given us besides. Therefore, if we don’t want our doctrines and teaching to backfire on us, then we better be careful what we believe, and the way to protect our heart from false teaching is to sensor the ideas that are floating between our ears.

(48g) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your standard of measure – People balk about hardship. Sometimes they can trace their hardships back to consequences of their own making. They complain to God, admitting they did something wrong, yet ask why their consequences are so severe, but more will be given them besides. Then there is the person who walks in the blessing of God, and it doesn’t seem they have done anything to deserve it, and more will be given them besides.

(58j) Paradox >> Two implied meanings >> Good things / Bad things

(74c) Thy kingdom come >> God wants you to protect your heart

(79g) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Watch yourselves – There are Bible teachings that are subtly deceptive. Some of them are perpetuated by Hollywood and some by our own churches, teaching that everybody goes to heaven. This is virtually branded on every religious film. Movies about Jesus and people experiencing miracles are areas of public interest. In all cases none of them comment about some people not going to heaven; this is a mistake in theology. How have they become so nearsighted? Their doctrines are designed to make money for them! They focus on some aspects of the gospel and neglect others for the sake of buying viewers, and they know that teaching about hell is not very lucrative. There have been many movies about people who have died and gone to heaven and returned, but no movies about anyone narrowly escaping the flames of hell. To this Jesus says, “Be careful what you listen to.” Tampering with people’s minds, manipulating the gospel to make it read how they want, telling people that there is no need to fear God, leading them astray for the sake of sordid gain, is not a new hoax; it is old as the gospel itself. As a result, a large chunk of the gospel is ignored, along with a need to lead a transformed life through repentance and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that we must be born-again or we can’t go to heaven. For Hollywood to exclude these things from the gospel is to assume the role of the unrighteous steward (Lk 16,1-9).

(79j) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word >> Listen to the word >> Listen to Jesus -- This verse goes with verse 3

Mk 4-25

(47e) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell is a place of the dead

(222j) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Do not give what is holy to dogs >> Give to him who has >> Take from him who does not have

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26-30 And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows -how, he himself does not know. 28 "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29 "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." 30 And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?

 

Mk 4,26-32

(137g) Temple >> Building the temple (with hands) >> Maturing in Jesus is hard work >> Maturity is the process of growing – The seed of God’s word is small compared to other seeds, but when it grows, it becomes larger than all the other garden plants. There are bigger plants than the mustard tree and smaller seeds, for instance the giant sequoia tree and the tiny begonia seed from the orchid family, but we are only talking about the garden variety that are designed to produce fruit; these are the only plants that mattered to Jesus. Most teachings about the mustard seed never mention anything about growing, but we need to remember that the purpose of seeds is to grow, otherwise why not compare the Kingdom of God to a pebble? If we have the faith of a pebble, tell this boulder to be cast into the sea and it will obey you. The implication is that God’s kingdom grows in the garden of our hearts, and puts out large branches so the birds of the air can nest under its shade.

(225h) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about the garden of the kingdom >> Parables about seeds -- These verses go with verses 3-9

Mk 4,26-29

(229e) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> God causes the growth >> Kingdom grows like crops in a farmer’s field -- The farmer spends his whole life tilling his field, planting seeds, fertilizing the ground, watering the soil and harvesting his crops, but he does not know how the seed grows. God puts him in charge of managing the environment that makes it conducive for seeds to grow, but after everything is done, if the miracle of life does not occur, there is nothing the farmer can do. The sciences of horticulture and genetic hybridization has skyrocketed in the last twenty years, and people now believe they know how to create life, but they always start with preexistent life and simply make new strains of the same species. God has so created the seed to respond to moisture in the soil, and from there everything the seed needs to grow has been programmed into its DNA. The process is so complex that man will never be able to start from scratch and make something that is "alive" in the true sense. He may take living cells and plant them in other life-forms to produce a desired effect, which is amazing, but that is a far cry from creating life. Physical life consists of a lot of inert atoms assembled together to form complex molecules that are also assembled in higher complex ways to form living cells that compose the organism, something far beyond our limited imagination let alone our capacity to duplicate. Where inert molecules end and life begins, we don't even know that. How beyond us God has placed physical life, spiritual life is even further beyond us, which is the subject of this parable. God placed His Spirit in us as a seed that has sprouted and bearing fruit, how it happens we do not know. Like the farmer, we create an environment conducive for the seed; we read the Bible and obey His word, pray and fellowship with other believers and spiritually grow, and how we do not know.

Mk 4-26,27

(229a) Kingdom Grows By Itself (Key verse)

Mk 4-28,29

(237f) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> Rapture of the blameless -- These verses do not speak directly about the rapture, but the concept outlines the principles of maturity that will determine when Christ comes. Paul said in Eph 5-27 that God is coming for a church "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and blameless." He also said in 1The 3-12,13, "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." Again He said in 1The 5-23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." These are not God's hopes or aspirations for the Church but His prophecies. If He will not come until the Church is mature, prepared and alert, then we better grow up and spiritually act like adults and quit being sluggish, overstuffed, self-serving, ill-mannered children. Look up the topic: Alert. One verse after another teaches that though He may come as a surprise to us, He will not catch His true worshippers off guard. 

Mk 4,30-32

(129c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing the fruit of evangelism >> Feed the people with the fruit of your walk

(140d) Temple >> Temple made without hands >> Hiding place >> Living in the spiritual revelation of the word

(229c) Kingdom of God >> God’s kingdom is a living organism >> Kingdom grows by itself >> Growing In Numbers Corresponds With Spiritual Growth >> Kingdom grows in size


 

31-34 "It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, 32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE." 33 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; 34 and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.

 

Mk 4-31,32

(13e) Servant >> Serve the body >> Promoting its health >> Serve as a covering for others – This is one of those passages that, if taken out of the Bible, would seriously debilitate the meaning of the gospel. When we view these verses through the eyes of a servant, we can see the impact servants have on a congregation. There are always certain individuals in the Church who apply themselves more than others to their faith, and consequently they grow very large spiritually and loom over the body to provide shade for the rest of the people. It is a by-product of their ministry. They do more than it appears to protect the Church from the daily erosive forces of the world. Although these people work harder than others in the Scriptures, in prayer, and in their ministries, they offer their services free of charge without expecting any special treatment in return.

(14n) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers take the last place as a better service to you – "Although they are smaller than all the other seeds that are on the soil," Jesus said, referring to certain people in the Church who would completely dedicate themselves to the work of the Lord and serve the people as a service to God, they grow larger than all the other plants in the garden. Do they use they larger size to bully people? No, they use their position to provide a canopy of security and protection.

(56k) Paradox >> Opposites >> Least are greatest >> Smallest in the eyes of men are big to God

(111i) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Spirit and the word >> Kingdom of God revealed >> Manifestation of truth

(113a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> The anointing >> Heaven’s clothes >> Protection >> Covering

(240b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the knowledge of the kingdom >> Pastor (Shepherd) >> Pastor has a shepherd’s heart

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Mk 4-32

(131d) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Brother depends on you >> To help build the temple – The mustard tree is relatively small that people grow on the north side of a garden that provides shade for the gardener, where he puts a bench and uses it on his breaks from his work. The mustard tree provides a habitat for birds that eat the pests from the garden; it is the smallest garden seed compared to the tree that it becomes. It is esthetic to have a small tree growing near a garden, not to have a garden all by itself, since there is no habitat for other animals to lodge and nurture the garden. Jesus used the mustard seed to describe the Kingdom of God, saying that this process of building up the body of Christ is from God in that we cannot cause a plant to grow. We can furnish everything the plant needs, good soil, water and a little nurturing; if the circumstances are right, and if we have a healthy seed, it should grow. This process in the Church requires each person to do his part, translating to bearing the fruit of the Spirit that God uses to grow His people.

Mk 4-33

(79k) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word >> Listen to the word >> He who has ears to hear, let him hear -- This verse goes with verse 23

(106e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Hearing from God >> Attaining the hearing ear >> Having the ability to hear -- Jesus' mother had some of the best advise during His first miracle when He turned the water into wine; she said to the waiters, "Whatever He says to you do it." That directly applies to any discussion pertaining to the hearing ear. When we hear from the Holy Spirit and do what He says, it opens our ears to better hear what He is saying, and in this way reveals His specific will to to us. As we step on the trail of good works that the hearing ear blazes, God will continue to reveal more of Himself in a personal relationship with Jesus.

(168l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world has deaf ears to God >> God does not speak to people who will not hear Him -- This verse goes with verse 9

Mk 4-34 -- No Entries

 

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35-41 On that day, when evening came, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" 39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

 

Mk 4,35-41

(5f) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your faith through hardship

(8d) Responsibility >> Prepare to interact with God >> Entering the realm of the Spirit Jesus Christ is just as much dwelling inside us as He lives in heaven. When Jesus said "Let us go over to the other side," did He mean, 'Let's go over to the other side of the lake,' or, 'Let's go from the natural realm to the spiritual realm'? There is a lot of symbolism in this story: The lake represents a sea of people (the world), the wind represents Satan (the prince of the power of the air), the waves represent satanic powers that stir up the world, Jesus represents the Holy Spirit, the boat is the Church and the disciples are the members of His body.

(23l) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of the unknown >> Fear of miracles – The Lord asked His disciples why they were still afraid and accused them of having no faith; thus, He linked fear to unbelief. Jesus showed that faith and fear cannot coexist, and John showed that love and fear cannot coexist. This means that faith and love are one and the same. We can literally transpose these words: “love” and “faith”. They are interchangeable in that love is the manifestation of faith and faith is the substance of love (Heb 11-1; KJV). When we talk about bearing fruit, we always mean love in its various forms: joy, peace, patience, etc, and the process of bearing fruit is through faith.

(28j) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects us from the devil

(35e) Gift of God >> God is willing to Give >> Ask to receive – Some people have the misconception that Jesus was omniscient; on the contrary, He only knew what His Father told Him. He might not have known there would be a storm on the lake, but now that they were in it, He used it as an object lesson for His disciples to show them that even the forces of nature are no match against His faith, and here is the amazing part; He taught that all the miracles He performed we could do also (Jn 14-12). He taught that the Father was willing to work His power through us as He worked in His Son, with the exception that He died to forgive the sins of the world; this we could not do. He was showing His disciples that when they got into trouble to just ask God for help, and He would help them. This is why He criticized them for their lack of faith, not that they could do anything about the storm, but that they didn’t even believe He could. They waited until they were almost dead before they relinquished their pride and called on Jesus. This is typical of man; we usually call on Jesus as our last option after we tried everything else. Jesus was saying that coming to Him should have been the first thing they did. If we have a problem, we need to wake up Jesus inside us through prayer and place Him on task.

(66b) Authority >> Lordship of Christ >> He is Lord over all creation >> over the elements

(66j) Authority >> Jesus’ authority >> His words are the authority of God – Jesus was asleep on the cushion while the storm was raging all around Him, denoting the peace of Christ. He was in the boat with His disciples, but He did not change the circumstances until He woke up and rebuked the storm. Thus, His presence did not communicate with the circumstances; rather, His words communicate with all creation. The disciples knew Jesus was the Son of God, but they asked anyway, “who is this?” We will say this throughout eternity. When we get to heaven and see Him for the first time, we will say, ‘Who is this, that He should be so beautiful?’ A hundred years later we will ask again after He does something that totally blows our mind. In a thousand years He will do something ten times more amazing, and we will ask again, ‘Who is this?’ In a million years He will do something even more amazing, and we will ask once more, ‘Who is this?’ Throughout all eternity He will continually amaze His people. He amazed His disciples, and Jesus never thought anything of it. Throughout His life starting as a young boy He learned He was the Son of God, and once His ministry began, the Father allowed Him to manifest Himself as one who could do all things through the will and power of His Father.

(88i) Thy kingdom come >> Fearing the power of God is the beginning of wisdom

(114a) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Working the grace of God >> Obeying the Holy Spirit >> Believing the Father by obeying the Son >> Obeying Jesus’ word

(126g) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Peace in the midst of the storm – They woke Jesus and asked Him if He cared if they were perishing. It is quite amazing to sleep through a storm of this magnitude. He is truly the prince of peace. Nothing riled Him; also He was probably exhausted. Psalm 69-9 says, “Zeal of your house has consumed Me.” Jesus was no doubt the most zealous man for God who ever lived. When we think of Jesus being with the Father throughout eternity and the closeness they shared, this same closeness Jesus always sought throughout His life in the flesh, and it must have been exhausting. Often when the disciples were asleep, He would go and pray somewhere, and half His sleep was taken. Often it was the only time He had, because the next day they were off running again on a new leg of their journey.

(147c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself >> God exercises authority over His creation – When it comes to faith, there was something about Jesus that the rest of mankind has been seeking ever since. Fisherman used every ounce of their talent to keep the boat above water and were failing, so Jesus the carpenter commanded the sea to be still and the lake became placid because of the words of a man, but not just any man; He was the Son of God.

(171l) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Outward appearance of circumstances

(198j) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Frustrating the grace of God >> Frustrating Jesus through unbelief

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Mk 4-38

(7j) Responsibility >> Use time wisely >> Get ready >> Take time to prepare

Mk 4-39

(150h) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness of Jesus >> Speak the word of the Spirit >> Speaking the words that God speaks

(245l) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of the prince of the power of the air -- Remember, Satan is the prince of the power of the air. The waves were kicked up by the wind, representing the manifestation of the devil. Also remember, whenever Jesus would cast out the demons, He would never allow them to speak (Mk 1-34), because they knew who He was and He didn't want people learning about His identity through demons, that is, He was adverse to the devil manifesting himself in His presence. Jesus got right on this storm because He considered it a manifestation of the devil threatening the lives of everyone in that boat. 

Mk 4-41

(88f) Fear Of God (Key verse)

(190g) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Separation from the old man >> Circumcision >> Undressing >> Naked before God

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