Things move fast in the book of Mark, as you’ve probably noticed; but fast doesn’t mean superficial. There’s lots of meat to chew on here.
Can you hear Him now? — Mark 4:1-20
This parable has a number of great lessons, but one of the things that strikes me is about what listening entails. In this parable the seed is the word. What hearers are doing with the word is a major part of the point of the parable. Hearing is much more than merely registering the sounds that hit the ear. It’s about listening to the word — understanding and obeying it; sticking with it through thick and thin; focusing on it rather than the million other things vying for our attention; and bearing fruit with it. He who has ears to hear, LET HIM HEAR.
Take care what you listen to — Mark 4:21-25
And speaking of listening there’s something more that Jesus wanted to tell us about listening — a warning about what we listen to and how we listen. Proper listen will serve to increase or decrease our understanding of other spiritual things. The more Bible you read, the more you understand. Especially in view of the comments in the above paragraph about how what hearing really implies, the more you actually do what the Bible says, the more you understand. Before long you begin to connect dots, a few here and few there, and you develop spiritual wisdom and deeper understanding. “For whoever has, to him more shall be given…” On the other hand, the less we study, the less we practice what the Lord has commanded, the less apt we are to understand things, the fewer dots we can connect, the less wisdom we develop.
In his right mind — Mark 5:15
I’ve always found this remark about the man with the demons after Jesus had cast out his demons to be great — he was found clothed and in his right mind. That’s what happens every time, when we let Jesus cast out the evil in our lives we’ll be in our right and sane minds.
Asking the Savior to leave? — Mark 5:17
But interestingly enough the local populace wasn’t positively impressed with what the Savior had done — they’d lost thousands of pigs. What’s a Jewish population doing with a bunch of unclean pigs? Good question. It would appear that it was more than the demoniac that needed the some evil cast out — except that the local folks didn’t want that evil cast out. Sadly, their number is legion — who are perfectly happy with their evil, thank you. They’d rather Jesus leave instead. It is the sad story of our modern age; Jesus is OK until He begins to meddle with our pet sins, then He’s welcome to go someplace else. Christians must always be vigilant to guard against loving sin more than the Savior.
More than casual interest — Mark 6:33ff
After hearing of the death of John the Baptist Jesus wanted to take His disciples away from the crowds — some of them were disciples of John’s before they followed Jesus. But the some of the crowd followed them as best they could — on foot, apparently some of them running, arriving at the other side of the lake ahead of them. It indicates more than just casual interest, more than just a religious hobby. What is Christianity to you — a casual interest or a life pursuit? Would you have been among those who would running ahead of Jesus and His disciples, or would you have just waited until the next time He was more conveniently around?
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.