Mark 4

When the Lord God came in person to save His children, what did He say to Israel and to His disciples? As prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures, He spoke in parables. “Give ear, O My people, to My teaching; incline your ears to the words of My mouth! I will open My mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old.” (Psalm 78:1-2)
Jesus later explained to the men who were in His close circle the message behind His cryptic sentences. The smaller group of intimate friends learned what they could comprehend at this early stage of His ministry, but thankfully they would one day preach plainly about “the secret of the kingdom of God.”
God would bring about a great harvest of righteousness from those who would be connected to His Name. Many would hear the gospel, but Satan, persecutors, trials, distractions, and sinful covetousness would choke out what might have been a good crop. There would be some “good soil” which would “bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
The “lamp” of Christ’s teaching was not to be hidden forever. The church was God’s chosen instrument to shine His light into a dark world, not only with clear proclamation, but also with sacrificial action. Though men and women of God would be solemnly charged to do what they were told by the Lord, “the seed” of new life would sprout and grow by divine grace. The work might increase very slowly as the years went forward, yet one day “the harvest” would come.
The Messiah who calmed the wind and the waves taught His beloved flock as He deemed best. His words were unique and surprising, but they reinforced the message from Isaiah 6:9-10 that His miracles also revealed, that the God of heaven and earth was entirely in charge of the great gift of salvation.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
O Sovereign Lord, teach us, that we might hear and live. Turn away the devil who would tempt us to ignore Your gospel. We will not fear persecution or be distracted by other engagements. We want to be fruitful disciples. Use Your servants to show us the truth, and encourage us in the day of tribulation. Keep us from the deceitfulness of riches. Grant a harvest among us of righteousness and peace. Bring to light the greatness and glory of Your Son. Enlarge our hearts in the mercy of Christ. Make the seed of Your Word sprout and grow among us with astounding results. Though we may be few in number, give us confidence that You will build Your kingdom. You can calm the waves and winds when they threaten us. You will not let us perish. See the tumult within our souls, and settle our lives upon You again today.