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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Psalm 32:7-9 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Exodus 39:42, 43 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Exodus 33:13 “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
Exodus 31:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!”