²¹And 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?
²²For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.
²³If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
²⁴And 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.
²⁵For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”
Now let us reflect on this
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is a mystery that remains hidden from those who do not believe in the LORD (Mark 4:11,12). Does that mean that the Gospel, the Good News, is therefore for the initiated and that the preaching may, or even must, remain limited to the circle of believers?
Is the salvation that Jesus brings only for a small circle?
One might think that after the foregoing, but that is not correct.
No, Jesus has come for all people. It is like the light of a lamp. A lamp should not be hidden somewhere in the room, but in a place where the light can shine in all directions (Mark 4:21).
When someone turns on a lamp, it is because it is getting too dark. Then he will not put that lamp behind a sofa or under a table, will he? No, he puts that lamp on a table so that the whole room benefits from the light.
So everyone who comes in will benefit from its light.
In the same way we must also experience and pass on the Gospel. It must be preached to all people, for it is for the whole world (Mark 4:22).
That is also the purpose of Jesus with His parables.
He wants to speak so plainly that anyone can get it.
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says that we should let our light shine to anyone.
Then, when they see the good things we do, they will honor our Heavenly Father.
Something is only put away for later retrieval (Mark 4:22; Compare 2 Corinthians 3:14).
See, there are people who pass it by for that very reason – because it’s all so clear – that’s not Jesus’ intention. Jesus wants people to hear what He says and understand what He means. That is why he also says in Mark 4:23: “He who has ears to hear, must hear.” Open your ears!
If a person opens his ears wide to what God says in his Word, he will receive a great deal. For believing is a result of hearing (Romans 10:17).
But how can we give to others, if we don’t have anything ourselves?
That is why this is very important:
▪︎ Pay close attention to everything that Jesus says (Mark 4:24)!
▪︎ Hold on to His words, and give them the place of honor in your life.
To the extent that we do this, we will be blessed by the Lord.
Yes, above that measure God will give us (Mark 4: 24,25; Compare Luke 6:38).
We become rich by hearing the Gospel.
▪︎ A person who opens his ears to God’s Word will receive an enormous amount.
See, once a person begins to experience how much he receives from God through his ears, he will in future listen more and more to the Good News (Mark 4:24,25).
▪︎ But whoever does not receive anything, because he shuts himself off from the Good News, eventually loses what little he had from God (Mark 4:25).
“I will build my congregation,” Jesus said.
But does our assembly, our church, show that?
Have we not gotten in the way of our Lord and Savior, by our misguided triumphalism (Compare Revelation 3:2,15-17)?
When we recognize, that through our prejudices we have harmed the congregation of Jesus, we need to repent and return to Him. And when we return to Him, He will give us what we do not deserve, but give it as a free gift.
For those who do not sincerely want to listen to God, the blessing turns into a curse (Mark 4:25). Only those who dedicate themselves to the Lord with their whole life will share in the full blessing (Mark 4: 24,25).
Questions for self-reflection:
▪︎ How do I listen when the gospel is being preached?
▪︎ How can I live a life that spreads light?
▪︎ Ask the Lord to open your ears so that you can understand and receive His riches.
▪︎ Ask the Lord to make you full of His Spirit, so that your life will spread His light (Cf. Ephesians 5:18).
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