Two Short Parables

Mark 4:21-25

Parallel Text: Like 8:16-18

 This brief section contains two more short ones, the Parable of the Lampstands and the Warning for Hearers. First, let’s talk about lamps…

Lamps and lampstands are used several times in the New Testament as references to the Truth. Certainly the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ was something that had been hidden since the Garden of Eden, which is probably why Paul referred to it as a mystery. The time was soon to come when everything would be made known, and Jesus’ Apostles were the ones who would make it known fully, beginning with Pentecost.  Clearly, His message is that there will be no secrets when the time comes.

The second shot parable is slightly more difficult to catch the meaning of. We should see right off that when Jesus says that “whoever has will be given more…” in verse 25, Jesus isn’t talking about material possessions.

“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.”

Mark 24-25

The “measure” mentioned in verse 24 is the care you use in considering what you hear. So, “Consider carefully” what you hear means that we should listen very carefully and really consider it; great care in consideration of what we hear, will yield great benefits to our understanding of the truths that we will shine for the world to see about His gospel. If we take little or no care in this, the truth will do us no good at all, and that could have tragic results.

Thus, we can see that whoever has (truth) will be given more (truth).

Have you ever listened to a sermon that was really great, and had the guy in front of you, who spent the whole time fidgeting and looking at his watch, then comment how much he got out of the message?

How about those times when you were busy fidgeting and looking at your watch? Were those the times you left feeling as though you really got something wonderful from the message?

Well, maybe you have, but I haven’t! Nope, not when I wasn’t paying attention.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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13 Responses to Two Short Parables

  1. paulfg says:

    Never thought about this one in this way. A teensy little verse packed full! And now unpacked. Really helpful, Don! Thank you.

  2. Tom says:

    I enjoyed this. Excellent point about paying attention to what you hear! I have found myself at times doing that very thing of hearing without hearing. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love Luke’s version, too. “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” The “how” really puts the burden on the hearer and not the speaker. Am I hearing but not listening? Am I creating a grocery list in my head? Or am I an active participant, allowing the words to pierce and transform me? Mark’s version, with his focus on “what” we hear, makes me think of the message itself. Is it a song with questionable lyrics? Is it a movie with crude or foul language? Is it an atheistic professor’s promotion of a God-less classroom environment? Is it seemingly innocent water cooler “gossip”?

    It’s interesting to me how those two words really change the focus of the command: Carefully consider how you listen…and what you hear. As a hearer, I need to make sure I am careful not only about WHAT I hear but in HOW I hear it. Wow. That certainly changes some things, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for this insightful exploration of a small parable with very big implications.

  4. Elaine says:

    Great post! Amazing what not so good things happen in all of our lives when we hear without hearing or listening well. Then we start assuming things and assumptions are not usually truth!

  5. Sharon says:

    Amazing to me how this parable goes right along with “A Troubling Conversation”.

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