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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Daily D – Luke 10:5-6
Luke 10:5, 6 “Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’ If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you.”
Daily D – Job 1:1
Job 1:1 There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.
Daily D – Esther 6:6
Esther 6:6 So Haman came in, and the king said, “What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?” Haman thought to himself, “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?”
Daily D – Esther 5:9
Esther 5:9 Haman was a happy man as he left the banquet! But when he saw Mordecai sitting at the palace gate, not standing up or trembling nervously before him, Haman became furious.
Daily D – Luke 10:3
Luke 10:3 “Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.”