Notes On Mark’s Gospel (40)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

The seed is the Word of God (Chapter 4 Verses 1-20)

Is it not thrilling to see all these people gathered round Jesus, and so eager to hear the word of God (v1)? How we long to see people in our own country taking an interest in the Bible again in such a way. Pray the Lord to remove that awesome blindness from the eyes of people. It must have been a tremendous teaching opportunity (v2). I mean listening to Jesus speak, no doubt, about many issues, about prayer, what the Father was like, and many other things? And on that lakeside, many lives would never be same again? As the reality of God’s truth struck home, many would yield to it and follow Jesus, many would be hungry and listen to him more and more. That is the way to increase our spiritual appetite is it not (1Peter 2.2-3)? It was at this point Jesus introduced the parable of the Sower (v3). Listen up! He says (Luke 8.18). A typical Palestinian agricultural scene, the farmer goes out to sow, he must, because if he does not there will be no crop, there cannot be. Jesus himself is there amongst them doing that very thing, sowing the seed of God’s word in their hearts. And as he speaks of differing soils, and the seeds progress upon them (vv4-7), some show great promise at first, yet come to nothing. So it will be with some of them. But (v8) informs us the Sower’s persistent work will be rewarded, there will be a harvest. The harvest’s progress is dependent, upon the way the seed is received, the way the word is heard (v9), that is the application here. Many will hear the word of God, in Church, reading Bibles, perhaps through these notes even, and many may nod with approval, even add an amen at the end, but the fate of the Divine seed rests upon the way in which you hear. The one with no ears to hear (v9) goes away mystified, they have not profited in the least. Because someone listens, does not mean they hear.

If we are to profit from God’s word, we must hear it with faith, for not everyone does (Hebrews 4.1-2). Careful attention is called for every time we come to an encounter with the word. It is an engagement with God himself. God’s truth declared effectively (Isaiah 55.11), is no guarantee of automatic profit (Proverbs 1.24-25; Acts 28.26). Hearing the word is a spiritual business (Matthew 11.25-26; John 7.17; 1Corinthians 2.14), humility of faith is required. When a preacher comes to a congregation, the thinking is, is he any good? Is he good enough for us? More to the point would be, are we fit to listen to this man, it would profit us a lot more?

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

Sermon Audio



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