What Jesus Did! 'For Your Understanding' — Mark 4:10-11

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Later, Jesus was away from the people. The twelve apostles and Jesus' other followers asked him about the stories. Jesus said, "Only you can know the secret truth about the kingdom of God. But to those other people I tell everything by using stories.
— Mark 4:10-11
Illustration of Mark 4:10-11 —  But to those other people I tell everything by using stories.

Key Thought

Why would Jesus conceal his message from outsiders? First, they can't understand it properly. If his disciples have a hard time understanding Jesus, then how would those who don't share their passion for the work of God ever understand it? Second, Jesus is redefining his followers' understanding about the Kingdom of God. His terms and ideas would be distorted and misused by others. Third, he is entrusting his message to them, his chosen followers, to share the message with others later in their ministry when he is gone. Not every message is appropriate to share with everyone. Certain times are more appropriate for sharing some information than other times. In addition, special messengers have to be trained to share the truth before it is shared. So we ask God to give us the sense of time and message to be useful servants for his kingdom.

Today's Prayer

Father, please give me wisdom in knowing when to speak and when to be silent. I want to share your message in the proper way, at the proper time, to the proper people. Give me patience so that I can keep my mouth shut when silence is needed. Give me courage to speak when the time is right to speak. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you and a blessing to others. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Another time Jesus began teaching by the lake. Many, many people gathered around Jesus. So Jesus got into a boat and went out on the lake. All the people stayed on the shore next to the water. Jesus taught the people from the boat. Jesus used many stories to teach them. He said, "Listen! A farmer went out to plant his seed. While the farmer was planting, some seed fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. Some seed fell on rocky ground. The ground there did not have enough dirt. The seed grew very fast there because the ground was not deep. But the sun rose and the plants were burned. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. So those plants did not make grain. Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed began to grow. It grew and made grain. Some plants had 30 grains, other plants had 60 grains, and some had 100 grains." Then Jesus said, "You people that hear me, listen!" Later, Jesus was away from the people. The twelve apostles and Jesus' other followers asked him about the stories. Jesus said, "Only you can know the secret truth about the kingdom of God. But to those other people I tell everything by using stories. I do this so that: 'They will look and look, but never really see; they will listen and listen, but never understand. If they saw and understood, they might change and be forgiven.'" Then Jesus said to the followers, "Do you understand this story? If you don't, then how will you understand any story? The farmer is like a person that plants God's teaching in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. This is like some people. Those people hear the teaching of God. But Satan (the devil) comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them. Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly and gladly accept it. But those people don't allow the teaching to godeep into their lives. They keep that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly quit. Other people are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. These people hear the teaching. But then these things come into their lives: the worries of this life, the love of money, and wanting all kinds of other things. These things stop the teaching from growing. So that teaching does not make fruit {in the lives of those people}. Other people are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and make fruit—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more."

Mark 4:1-20

Related Scripture Readings

A person is happy when he gives a good answer. And the right word at the right time is very good.

Proverbs 15:23

At the right time God let the world know about that life. God did this through the telling of the {Good News} message. And he trusted me with that work. I told people that message because God our Savior commanded me to.

Titus 1:3

My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Don't become angry easily.

James 1:19

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.