Scripture: Mark 4:21-25
Is there some light in you? Do you brighten people’s day when you walk in the room?
The Bible talks about light as a metaphor or a symbol of truth from God.
Psalm 119:105 (ESV)
Isaiah 60:20 (ESV)
The light shows us the way to go. It reveals dangers hidden by darkness. And as Alayna read for us in John 1 – the light came to earth as Jesus Christ.
In this morning’s text from Mark chapter 4 we will hear two really short parables from Jesus about sharing that light.
A parable is a short fictional story with symbolic meaning. Jesus used common every day objects and situations to help people hear and react to truths about the Gospel and God’s Kingdom.
There are two levels of meaning – the literal story and then the figurative or spiritual meaning.
The Crown & The Cross Series
We are continuing our sermon series from the Gospel of Mark titled The Crown & The Cross.
Jesus is presented as a man of decisive action with a clear message and mission, and the reader is called to actively response to the message.
Mark divides Jesus’ life into two parts: his identity as Messiah and King over all things in chapters 1-8a (the crown) and then we see His purpose in suffering and dying on the cross in chapters 8b-16.
Jesus drew people into the parables, imagining themselves in the story and compelling his listeners to respond to the events of the story by making a judgment about the characters and in doing that they realize that they must make a similar judgment in their own lives.
This morning we will look for the purpose and connections between these two short parables and more importantly, we need to listen to hear how we personally need to respond to Jesus’ message.
READ Mark 4:21-22
Let it Shine!
Understanding the objects:
Lamp – oil lamp made of clay with a wick
Basket – bushel basket used for grain
Bed – mat or raised mat on platform
Stand – Holds oil lamp up high
verse 22 Nothing is hidden. The truth will be revealed.
Secrets will be revealed in the light. God is perfect in His judgment and justice. He sees everything we do and the Bible tells us that every person will be judged for their actions. Everything we do that goes against God’s perfect standard is called sin. We miss the mark of His righteousness. And it doesn’t matter how far we miss the target. Most people want to compare themselves to others and point out how much closer they got. But God’s measurement is the target or nothing. That is just.
Romans 6:23 says the result of our sins is death, but there is good news! The only thing that can protect you from spiritual death is to accept the free gift of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ. His sacrificial death on the cross paid for all our sins and enables a relationship with God for ever.
Matthew records this same parable but in a more positive way.
If you are a follower, a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you become light for the world. When they see you acting like Jesus and serving others unconditionally and selflessly they will be drawn to your light.
You bring glory to God – that means you show others what He is like – when they can see your light shining.
Look at this old railroad lantern. Do you think it is going to be bright? Why not?
The globe (that’s the glass cover) needs to be cleaned up and all the dirt removed so the light can shine through it. Is your life cleaned up so people can see God’s light in you? Things like the way you talk to people, the way you respond when things aren’t going the way you planned. When our words and actions don’t honor God, people won’t see the Light in you.
READ Mark 4:23
Previously, Jesus said this was the key to understanding the parables. You need to listen to God Word and actively hear what it says. In the next verse Jesus says Pay Attention!
If you are reading God’s Word on your own and you just gloss over the words or skim them, there will be no change in your life.
James said don’t be a hearer only. Be a Doer. Take the words into your heart and think about what applies to you. What does God say you should be doing. What does He say you should not be doing? What is a biblical principle you can apply to different parts of your life?
One of our core values as a church is to live biblically. That doesn’t mean where sandals and robes. It means changing our lives to match up to God’s Word. Living the way Jesus called us to live.
Of course you have to be in God’s Word regularly to know what it says. Coming out to church is a great start. The next steps are SS, Growth Groups, Bible studies, and reading on your own.
READ Mark 4:24-25
Have you heard the one about the baker and the butcher? Instead of charging each other money, they decided to trade their goods to each other. But the butcher became angry because the pound of flour he was given for his pound of meat always came up short of a pound. He confronted the baker. The baker told him, “I don’t have a measurement on my scale, but a balance, so I always used your pound of meat on one side of the balance.” His point was clear. The butcher had been trying to cheat him by giving him less meat, but he did not want the same standard of measurement used against him!
A few weeks back I shared some principles for understanding parables. One of those was the surrounding context. The Pharisees and scribes were constantly looking for things wrong with Jesus and his disciples. They wanted to discredit him so the people would listen to them instead of Jesus.
What measure were the religious leaders using? If they were using the Law, then the Law would become their judge, because the Law pointed to Jesus Christ. If we use the truth we have received to condemn others instead of attracting others to Jesus, this measure will be used upon us. To those who use the truth they have been given appropriately, more will be given. As with the good soil, their crop will increase to a hundredfold. But to those who oppose the truth—and the Pharisees must be counted in this condemnation—whatever they have will be taken away. Their love of the Law will disintegrate, and they will be left in darkness.
4:25 The people who listen and understand are those who are open to Jesus’ teaching. To them God will give more understanding. They will continue to grow because they let God’s word make a difference in their lives.
In contrast, those who are not listening will lose whatever they had. Jesus’ words here may have been directed to the Jews who had no understanding of Jesus and would lose even what they had—that is, their privileged status as God’s people. Or Jesus might have meant that when people reject him, their hardness of heart drives away or renders useless even the little understanding they had. Eventually, any opportunity to share in God’s Kingdom will be taken away completely.
By sending Jesus to be our Savior, God gives us mercy. By accepting Jesus Christ we are forgiven and our sins are not held against us. That’s mercy. But God also shows us His amazing Grace by blessing us beyond anything we deserve. You may be thinking, my life is more misery than blessing right now. What’s God done for me? Over and over, Scriptures tell us to be thankful in everything. To see how God is working and moving in our lives to bring Him glory.
Do you share the Good News with others?
If you’ve never trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior – come talk to me after the service or contact me through media or the church office.
Are you sharing that mercy and amazing grace with others as it has been given to you? Or are you like the stingy baker, holding back so you don’t feel cheated?
- Is your light bright?
- Do you need to clean up your globe?
- Are you living biblically?
- Are you spending time in God’s Word, noting what needs to change in your life and then actually changing?
- Would the people who know you characterize you as someone who shows grace and mercy?
- Do you judge and treat other people the way you want to be judged and treated?