Mark 4:21–25 (ESV)
21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
- What I think Mark is saying in 4:21-25 THEN: Jesus is letting the disciples know that soon he will be going public. Those (the disciples) who invest their ears and hearts in what he is saying to them (the disciples) now will gain when the time comes for him to go public!
- Jesus is operating off the idea that things become more clear by the process of hiding it.
- Only those searching/looking will fin hidden things.
- Israel was both deaf and blind.
- What I think Mark is saying 4:21-25 NOW: Today those searching, looking and investing in Jesus will be rewarded according to what they put into the discipline of hearing him.
- How I think what Mark is saying applies to our lives today:
- What does this point mean for the non Christian today? What I am looking for and why I am looking for Jesus can cause me to miss where he is.
- What does it mean for us as citizens, as employees, and so forth today? We can show so much to people about our God and where they can find him by how we conceal him.
- What does it teach us about Christ today? He is clearly there if we will continue to look.
- What does it mean for us as individual Christians today? Hearing is a discipline. Israel was supposed to hear what they read and what they were told. Today we need to learn to listen to God.
- What does it mean for our church as a whole today? We need to be teaching how to listen, think, discern and actively invest in the pursuit of Christ and His kingdom. The bible is a poor substitute for thinking, feeling, perceiving, reasoning etc…
Listening in the Bible: By Scot McKnight: “Good reading is an act of love and therefore an act of listening. But good listening, good attentive listening, good loving listening, is more than gathering information. It is more than just sitting around the back porch with God as we sip tea while God tells us his story. God speaks to us for a reason—I call this “missional” listening. In brief, God tells his story so we can enter into a relationship with him, listen to him, and live out his Word in our day and in our way.” What would Bible reading look like if it were to be governed by ‘the love chapter’?” I read Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:4–7 and see in these words a blueprint for reading the Bible. If love listens, then listening to God in the Bible will look like Paul’s virtues of love. Add the word “listening” to each of these lines and see what happens:”
- Monday reading: Listening love is patient;
Romans 15:4-5 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus. (NKJV) Question: How is your patience with God?
- Tuesday reading: listening love is kind;
Titus 3:4-6 “When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” NIV Question: How do you respond to hearing of the kindness of God?
- Wednesday reading: listening love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way.
Read the lyrics to the song I Boast No More (Hymn By Issac Watts, Sandra McCracken’s version) Questions: 1. How does humility help us to listen? 2. What is Gods greatest act of humility toward us?
1. No more, my God, I boast no more Of all the duties I have done; I quit the hopes I held before, To trust the merits of Thy Son
Chorus: No more my God, No more my God, No more my God, I boast no more.
2. Now, for the loss I bear His name, What was my gain I count my loss; My former pride I call my shame, And nail my glory to His cross.
Bridge: Yes, and I must and will esteem, All things but loss for Jesus’ sake;O may my soul be found in Him, And of His righteousness partake!
3. The best obedience of my hands Dares not appear before Thy throne; But faith can answer Thy demands, By pleading what my Lord has done.
- Thursday reading : (Listening love) It is not irritable or resentful;
Romans 8:28 (ESV) 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Question: How are you hearing this passage in regards to irritability and resentfulness?
- Friday reading: (Listening love) does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
John 1:14 (ESV) 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. Questions: How do we hear the voice of truth today? Do you celebrate the truth in your home at work, alone etc… How has the truth changed you as a person? Is that worth rejoicing over? How would one celebrate the truth and why? Saturday reading : (Listening love) It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Question: What do you hear this quote saying “Most people don’t have a disobedience problem. They have a LOVE problem. Love produces obedience.” – Dr. Keith Drury