Sowing: what to sow (Luk 8:11), what not to sow (Deu 22:9),
how to sow (Psa 126:5,6), when to sow (Ecc 11:6), reward of sowing (1Co
LISTEN: Placing supreme importance upon next words.
This, the beginning and key to all Christ's parables. "Hear, O Israel" (Deu
4:6). "To him shall you listen" (Deu 18:15). In ct to Mat 13, Mar 4 uses only 3
(of 8) parables, and stresses the positive aspects of gospel proclamation and
Vv 4-8: 4 hearers: careless, casual, worldly, and
DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND THIS PARABLE?: Which is
comparatively simple and obvious...
HOW THEN WILL YOU UNDERSTAND ANY PARABLE?: That is, the
more difficult and obscure ones? Christ gives an explanation, as a guide to
knowing other parables.
Even at this late stage, complacency is discouraged, and
carefulness is needed to produce the very most fruit.
THIRTY, SIXTY, OR EVEN A HUNDRED TIMES: "Isaac planted
crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD
blessed him" (Gen 26:12).
BOWL: Or "bushel" (RSV; AV). Gr word only in this
instance, ie Mat 5:15; Mar 4:21; Luk 11:33: an instrument of commerce! "Light"
obscured by "business".
BED: An instrument of leisure. "Light" obscured by
"sleep": see Pro 26:14.
The manifestation of the hidden/concealed glory out of the
sanctuary: Psa 27:5; 31:20; 81:7.
EVEN WHAT HE HAS: Or, as in Luk 8:18, "seems to
A MAN SCATTERS SEED: Gathering seed is pleasant, but
scattering it may be profitable.
THE SEED SPROUTS AND GROWS: "God is a Loving Father
teaching us to walk. We are infants in His hand. He does not condemn us for our
constant stumblings, for the weakness and unsteadiness of our legs, for our
clumsiness and lack of balance. He knows that all that is inevitably part of the
learning process. He does not demand instant perfection or ability or dexterity.
But He does demand desire, and effort, and perseverance, and dedication. He does
condemn us for failure to try, for wandering interest, for indolent contentment
to remain spoon-fed, spiritual infants. He does not condemn us for difficulties
and setbacks in the process of growing up to Him. But He does condemn us -- and
will ultimately reject us -- for not giving total effort and zeal"
THOUGH HE DOES NOT KNOW HOW: Life is a mystery, but
also a fact -- for it proves itself. The vitality of the seed is independent of
BIRDS: Often used in an unclean sense: Gen 15:11; Eze
31:6; Isa 34:14,15.
SHADE: See Isa 32:2; Eze 17:23; 31:6. Shade/shadow of
sun, to avoid its harsh rays (sig affliction).
Vv 35-41: Cp experiences of Jonah.
Jesus needs solitude for thought and prayer (cp Isa 50:4; Psa
119:147,148). A list of "solitude passages": Mar 1:35-37; 3:7,9,20,21; 4:35-38;
6:31; 7:17,18,24; 8:10,11,27; 9:30; 10:32; 14:32.
The four-fold power of Christ:
1. Over the elements (Mar 4:36-41): the storm
2. Over madness (Mar 5:1-20): the "storm" within.
3. Over disease (Mar 5:24-34):the primary effect of
4. Over death (Mar 5:35-43): the last effect of sin.
JUST AS HE WAS: Without necessary rest (Mat 8:20),
either from fear of authorities, or in haste to leave crowds behind, or without
the necessary provisions.
THERE WERE ALSO OTHER BOATS WITH HIM: Sym: "All around
them the storm of opposition had sprung up. It was sinking other 'little ships'
and would threaten to sink them, too" (Xd 115:329).
"His presence preserved the whole convoy. It is well to sail
with Jesus, even though it be in a little ship. When we sail in Christ's
company, we may not make sure of fair weather, for great storms may toss the
vessel which carries the Lord Himself, and we must not expect to find the sea
less boisterous around our little boat. If we go with Jesus we must be content
to fare as he fares; and when the waves are rough to him, they will be rough to
us. It is by tempest and tossing that we shall come to land, as He did before
us. When the storm swept over Galilee's dark lake all faces gathered blackness,
and all hearts dreaded shipwreck.
"When all creature help was useless, the slumbering Saviour
arose, and with a word, transformed the riot of the tempest into the deep quiet
of a calm; then were the little vessels at rest as well as that which carried
the Lord. Jesus is the star of the sea; and though there be sorrow upon the sea,
when Jesus is on it there is joy too. May our hearts make Jesus their anchor,
their rudder, their lighthouse, their lifeboat, and their harbour"
A FURIOUS SQUALL CAME UP: The sea of Galilee is very
susceptible to sudden storms. "The wicked as a troubled sea" (Isa 57:20). "The
wind strove upon the great sea" (Dan 7:2,3). But God rules, even over the storms
at sea: Psa 107:28-30; 89:9: 65:7; 93:3,4; Isa 57:20; Dan 7:2,3; Rev
An echo of Psa 44:23: "Awake, why sleepest thou, O Lord?
Arise, cast us not off."
JESUS WAS... SLEEPING: The only sleep of Jesus
mentioned in the gospels.
ON A CUSHION: See Mat 8:20.
DON'T YOU CARE IF WE DROWN?: Christ will not be raised
by the "storm", but only by the power of prayer. "To be tossed by the waves is
no proof of desertion, or even of danger" (Burgon, cited WGos 280).
First, the mysteries of the kingdom. And now, the power of the
king. The four-fold power of Christ: (1) Over storm (Mar 4:37-41); (2) over
madness (Mar 5:1-20); (3) over disease (Mar 5:21-34); and (4) over death (Mar
HE GOT UP: Christ will not be roused by the "storm"
alone, but only by the voice of prayer.
REBUKED THE WIND: As a father addressing
QUIET! BE STILL!: Cp Rev 15:2: the Lamb and the sea of
The LORD, the Creator, spoke and the waters stood firm (Psa
33:6-9). Now His Son, a "creator" in his own right, does likewise.
"Jesus of Nazareth invested the tiny band that he called apart
to testify to him and all he stood for with a staggering responsibility. Into
all the world they were to go. Not with the hope of converting the world, but
with the aim of creating and forming a redemptive society that would be as the
savour of salt in a world of corruption. In parable, metaphor and allegory, the
Gospels illuminate the Master's teaching as embodying the one element of
performance and true selfhood in a world of doubt, changeableness and
transience. To build on it was to build on a rock; by it one entered the light
and joy of the bridal festivities while outside was the darkness; to bear
witness to it was to be bearing lamps which shone with divine illumination; it
was enduring bread and living water. In the wild darkness of the stormy night
human guidance was in vain, and all their rowing brought no aid to a boat
sinking with water. They were unable to discern any ethical landmarks; in all
their doubts and fears they were in jeopardy. It was the voice of the Lord which
stilled their storm" (Prot 192).
"Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He lets the storm
rage and calms His child."
A seagoing captain commanded a passenger ship that was sailing
from Liverpool, England, to New York. His family was on board with him. One
night when everyone was asleep, a squall unexpectedly swept over the waters and
tossed the ship violently, awakening the passengers. They were all terribly
afraid because of the storm. The captain's little 8-year-old girl was also
awakened. "What's the matter?" cried the frightened child. Her mother told her
that a sudden storm had struck the ship. "Is Father on deck?" she asked. "Yes,
Father's on deck," came the encouraging answer. Hearing this, the little girl
snuggled back into her bed and in a few moments was sound asleep. The winds
still blew and the waves still rolled, but her fears were calmed because her
father was at the helm.
A growing fear of Jesus, traceable in Mar 4:41; 6:50; 9:6,32;
THEY WERE TERRIFIED: One fear (v 38) is removed, but is
replaced by another, greater fear!
WHO IS THIS?: Or "What manner of man is this?" (AV).
Their proper estimation of Jesus still needed scaling upward (WGos