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Bible Commentaries

People's New Testament

Mark 4

 

 

Introduction
SUMMARY.--The Sower, The Good Seed, The Hard, Stony, Thorny and Good Soil. The Parable Explained. The Candle Under a Bushel. The Seed Growing Secretly. The Grain of Mustard Seed. The Storm on the Sea.

Verse 1

He began again to teach by the seaside. This is the first recorded teaching in parables. For notes on the parable of the Sower see Mat. 13:1-23. Compare Luke 8:4-15. Mark's report is nearly that of Matthew, word for word, as well as of the explanation that follows. Matthew gives much the fullest account of this day's teaching, reporting a number of parables not found elsewhere.


Verse 12

That seeing they may see. Matthew gives this saying more fully and clearly. See note on Matthew 13:13.


Verse 21

Is the lamp put under a bushel? The Jews used lamps instead of candles. These were set on, not a candlestick, but a light stand. See note on Matthew 5:15. It is possible that these words, as well as Mark 4:24, were not spoken on this day, but borrowed from the Sermon on the Mount, because they are parables of a certain kind.


Verse 24

Take heed what you hear. Luke 8:18 says, "{How} you hear." Both admonitions are very important. Our ears should be deaf to evil counsel. We should hear attentively, earnestly and devoutly the word of the Lord.


Verse 26

So is the kingdom of God. This parable is given only by Mark, but its general lesson is enforced by parallel passages, {e. g.,} Isaiah 55:10-11; James 5:7-8; 1 Peter 1:23-25. In the kingdom of grace, as in nature, we are laborers together with God; the results of our work depend on him, and for the perfection of these results he takes his own time (1 Corinthians 3:6-9). Hence, (1) it is ours to sow the seed (the truth), his to give it growth; (2) having sown, we are to wait for time and God to perfect it; (3) this he does according to the definite order of development--first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear; (4) not until there has been time for the development, are we to expect to reap. The lesson is one of trust and hope.

Should cast seed. The word of God, the Gospel.


Verse 27

Should sleep, and rise, etc. While giving the seed sown time to germinate and come forth.


Verse 28

First the blade. There is a law of orderly development in natural growth, so also is it in reference to spiritual growth. Compare 1 John 2:12-14. Some growths are quicker than others, but in all there is {growth}. And we have no right to look for the end at the beginning, the ripened Christian experience in the young convert, the full corn in the first appearance of the blade. Observe, too, that we can know that {there is growth} by its results, though we know not {how,} and that each stage of the growth is more apparent than the preceding stage.


Verse 29

Immediately he putteth in the sickle. The time of harvest is when the fruit is ripe; in this instance when the word had produced faith, repentance and obedience. Then those who exhibit the fruit are to be gathered into the church.


Verse 31

Like a grain of mustard seed. See note on Matthew 13:31-35. Compare Luke 13:18-19.


Verse 34

Without a parable, etc. See notes on Matthew 13:36-43.


Verse 35

On the same day. The days the parables were uttered.

Unto the other side. Of the Sea of Galilee.


Verse 37

There arose a great storm. See notes on Matthew 8:23-27. Compare Luke 8:22-25. The Sea of Galilee lies 600 feet below the level of the Mediterranean, and has a tropical climate. Only a short distance north are the high mountains of Lebanon. The heated air about the sea invites the rush of cold waves from the mountains.


Verse 41

They feared exceedingly. The disciples in the boat. Such an astounding display of power, the control of the storm in which men are as helpless as infants, filled them with awe. What manner of being could he be whom storm, wind, and sea obeyed? They had not yet learned that the word which the sea obeyed was the word in obedience to which the world itself was made.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Mark 4:4". "People's New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/mark-4.html. 1891.

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