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Mark 4:12 . That seeing they may see, and not perceive. St. Luke gives the true sense of these words, which often occur. Acts 28:26-27. They mark, according to Dr. Lightfoot, the obduracy which fell on the jews, when they shut their eyes against the ministry and miracles of Jesus. On their wilfully doing this, God withdrew his grace. He quotes Procopius on Isaiah to the same effect. “The power of seeing was presented to them from the grace of him who was seen; hence, their not seeing, was the consequence of shutting their eyes. But how instructive is the thought, that the sin in which we most obstinately persist, should be turned to our punishment by a mysterious providence.”
Mark 4:21 . Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel? These words are applied to the saints, who are the lights of the world. Here they are associated with the seed sown, or the word of the kingdom. It is a pity for a wise and able minister to be hid in a corner, while so much darkness is on the christian world.
Mark 4:34 . Without a parable spake he not unto them; that is, when he spake of his kingdom, had he addressed those things to the multitude in plain discourse, it would have been to make a premature disclosure of his person, as “over all, God blessed for ever.” Romans 9:5. This was not to be done till after his resurrection. His parables were concise, and all the figures familiar and impressive. The people would well remember them, and enquire after divine illustrations.
Mark 4:35 . When the even was come, he saith to them, let us pass over to the other side. Having preached twice, once in Peter’s house, and once on the sea-shore, he sailed at night. What a pattern of labour, and of love to souls. Think of this, oh pastor, who enjoyest leisure with preferment.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Mark 4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24