Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 4

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


Again Jesus began to teach. This is the first time recorded that he taught in parables. See notes on this parable in Matthew 13:1-23. Matthew tells other parables that Jesus used on this day.

Verse 12


Yet not see. Matthew gives more detail. See notes on Matthew 13:13-15.

Verse 21


And put it under a bowl? Jewish lamps were a cup filled with oil, with a wick floating in it. The very purpose of a lamp would make it foolish to cover it with a bowl or hide it under the bed. The same thing is true of Truth. [Jesus probably taught these same things many times.]

Verse 24


Pay attention to what you hear! Luke says: “Be careful, then, how you listen.” (Luke 8:18). We should listen and pay attention when the Lord speaks.

Verse 26


The Kingdom of God is like. Only Mark gives this parable. But the same lesson is taught by Isaiah 55:10-11; James 5:7-8; 1 Peter 1:23-25. Results do not come instantly either in nature or in spiritual things. We are to “plant the seed,” and “water it,” but it is God who makes it grow (1 Corinthians 3:6-9). Scatters seed. The seed is the Word of God.

Verse 27


He sleeps at night. He continues his regular activities, and all the while, the seeds are sprouting and growing. [He plants, but he cannot make it grow.]

Verse 28


First the tender stalk appears. Growth is a gradual process. Things both good and bad develop over a period of time. This parable is about the spreading of Christ’s Kingdom. The Truth, planted, grows in good soil, comes to maturity, and is harvested. We can see growth in the results, even though we may not know the how.

Verse 29


When the grain is ripe. Not until then does harvest begin. When faith is ripe [produces repentance, baptism] the believer is gathered into Christ’s church (See Titus 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13.)

Verse 31


It is like a mustard seed. See notes on Matthew 13:31-32.

Verse 34


He would explain everything to them. Compare notes on Matthew 13:36-43.

Verse 35


On the evening of that same day. The day when he taught these parables. To the other side of the lake. Across Lake Galilee.

Verse 37


A very strong wind blew up. See notes on Matthew 8:23-27. Lake Galilee is 600 feet below sea level, and has a tropical climate. Just to the north are the mountains of Lebanon, and the “updraft” from the heated lake brings cold air from these mountains, creating severe storms.

Verse 41


But they were terribly afraid. These are experienced sailors, who know something of the power of the storm. Who and what is this man who can control the forces of nature and silence them with a word! They have not yet learned that Jesus is the Lord and the Creator of nature (Colossians 1:16).

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Mark 4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/mark-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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