Daily D – Mark 4:21-25
Mark 4:21-25 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mk 4:21–25.
Jesus taught in parables not to conceal truth but to make it stick.
There is a problem with stories and how we listen to them. Sometimes we get so caught up in the drama or in identifying with one character or another and the true meaning of the story does not land safely in our grasp, but instead merely lands a glancing blow upon our attention without the benefit of full apprehension.
Yes, the previous sentence was long and complicated, and intentionally so. Like the parables of Jesus, we only understand if we pay attention.
A seminary instructor who was completing a terminal degree taught a class one day using the parable of the Good Samaritan. Most of the class time was spent determining who was the hero of the story. So focused was the class on straining at these gnats, the students missed the point of the parable.
Jesus says on different occasions we get what we pay for. The payment we use is focused attention. The gain we receive is the understanding and implementation of truth. When we lean in to listen to Jesus and do what he says, we discover the empowerment he provides. We come to know God as he wants to be known. We come to experience God as we do what he says, as we join him in his work of renewal and restoration.
Jesus does not whack us with yardsticks while shouting, “Listen!” He invites instead into relationships where a whispered thought is received with gratitude and leads to appropriate action.
What story, which parable, sticks in your heart and mind? What is Jesus saying to you through this story? What difference does it make in who you are, how you relate to others, and how you serve others in his name?
A parable a day leads to a more beautiful way. For example, this parable talks about the helpful use of the light you have. It is most effective when shared openly. How will you amplify your light today?
I will maximize illumination by living what I say I believe.
Our Father, thank you for stories that stick. Thank you for the meaning they convey. Thank you for the redirection they provide. Thank you for the illumination others receive when they see your truth in action in our lives. Shine your light through me to those who need to see and receive your truth and your life. Amen.
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1 Kings 22:34 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.”
1 Kings 21:25, 26 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
2 Chronicles 15:1, 2 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”