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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Mark 4

 

 

Verses 1-34

3. Our Lord’s Conflict with the carnal Unbelief of the People in the Delivery of His Parables, and His Triumph over Human Narrowness. ( Mark 4:1-34)

(Parallels: Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:31-35; Luke 8:4-18)

1And he began again to teach by the sea-side: and there was gathered[FN1] unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a [the] ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land 2 And he taught them many things by parables, 3and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken: behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way-side, and the fowls [birds] of 5 the air[FN2] came and devoured it up. And some[FN3] fell on stony ground, where it had not 6 much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, [FN4] it was scorched; and, because it had no root, it withered away 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased, and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty and some an hundred 9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear 10 And when he was alone [apart], they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. [FN5] 11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know[FN6] the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them 13 And he said unto 14 them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The sower soweth the word 15 And these are they by the way-side, where the word is sown; but [and] when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word 16 that was sown in their hearts. And these[FN7] are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17And have no [not] root in themselves, and so endure but for a time [but are transient]: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19And the cares of this[FN8] world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other20[remaining] things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these[FN9] are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some an hundred 21 And he said unto them, Is a candle [the lamp] brought to be put under a bushel [the measure], or under a [the] bed?,and not to be set on a candlestick [the lamp-stand]? 22For there is nothing hid, which shall not[FN10] be manifested; neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad 23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear 24 And he saith unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you; and unto you that hear[FN11] shall more be given 25 For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath 26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast [the] seed into [upon] the ground; 27And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should 28 spring [sprout] and grow up [elongate], he knoweth not how. For[FN12] the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself [automatically]; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear 29 But when the fruit is brought forth [yields], immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is [has] come 30 And he said, “Whereunto shall we liken the 31 kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? [FN13] It is like a grain of mustard-seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out [makes] great branches; so that the fowls [birds] of the air may lodge under the shadow of it 33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. 34But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples[FN14].

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

See on the parallels.—Matthew gives us a collection of seven parables; Mark, of three. Thus it is a round sacred number in both. Here also the individual parables are combined into one collective view of the kingdom of God. In Matthew, we see the chronological development of the kingdom of God in its historical periods; here, we have a picture of its development in space (statistically) according to its immanent principles of gradual expansion. The first parable depicts the kingdom of God in its universally difficult foundation; the second (a precious addition to the treasury of parables, in Mark alone), its certain and natural development; the third, its wonderful and glorious spread and consummation. It is probable that these three parables formed originally one single connected discourse; furnishing the basis of a later historical representation of the kingdom in the seven parables. The beginning of the parabolic discourses, however, had an earlier position than Mark indicates. His purpose is to connect them with the transference of Jesus’ teaching to the sea-side; but he has also a motive arising out of the nature of the events for placing these parables here. They form a crisis in the conflict of Christ with unbelief in Galilee, and mark His conflict with the specially sensuous unbelief of the people. Hence, in Mark 4:12, he has the well-known strong ἵνα (βλέποντες βλέπωσι καὶ μὴ ἵδωσι); while Matthew has the ὅτι. He also quotes in a very suggestive manner, Mark 4:21-23, the words of Christ which we find in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, Mark 5:15, and in the instructions to the Apostles, Mark 10:26, and which in Luke, Mark 8:16, are connected with the parable of the sower. There is nothing improbable in the supposition that our Lord used these figures in various connections. Here the figure of the candle is designed to teach that the parables have it for their positive purpose to enlighten; that Isaiah, that the disciples should at the right season discover the spiritual meaning of the parables; and the figure of the measure, that the disciples were to measure out instruction liberally in hope.

Mark 4:1. And He began again to teach by the sea-side.—Another emphatic reference to the contrast of this with His customary course of teaching; and as an expression of His decided breach with the Pharisees.

Mark 4:2. In His doctrine.—In His doctrinal instructions. “Of the many things (πολλά), Mark makes some particular things prominent.” Meyer.

Mark 4:8. Fruit that sprang up and increased.—We understand the former, of strong and vigorous upward growth; but the latter, the αὐξανόμενον, of the seed-corn’s spreading out into a number of stalks, as is the case with prosperous increase. Meyer also understands the καρπός as meaning the stalks in contradistinction to the grains, these not being mentioned till later; “some,” etc. But the idea of the fruit is thus artificially weakened. The actual and excellent growth is described; but under the point of view of its fruit, this and the luxuriant stalk being embraced in one. It is better to understand the springing up and increasing of the fruit as meaning the springing up of the ears of grain with the stems.

Mark 4:10. They that were about Him, with the Twelve.—The specific company of Christ’s disciples, independent of and with the Twelve. Euthym. Zig.: The Seventy. But these were not distinguished from the rest until later.

Mark 4:11. Unto you is given to know the mystery.—Significant; and to be explained in accordance with Matthew and Luke. The mystery is given through the knowledge of it.—But unto them that are without, οἱ ἔξω: in later phraseology, all non-Christians ( 1 Corinthians 5:12); with the Talmudists, all who were not Jews; but also the uninstructed and uninitiated Jews. Here, however, it is doubtless a hint of the germ of the opposition between the old and the new community, which in the word ἐκκλησία Matthew 16:18) came somewhat later into full use.

Mark 4:12. They may see.—The ἵνα is not to be softened, as if ita ut, as Rosenmüller and others assert. We must maintain that this hard utterance was based upon Isaiah 6:9 seq, and therefore that it must be interpreted in the meaning of that passage: not as an absolute sentence, but as a deserved, economical, and pedagogical visitation. See on Matthew.

Mark 4:13. Know ye not this parable?—The first parable of the kingdom is the basis of all the rest. If they understood not this, they could not understand any that followed. If they had the explanation of this, they had the key for the understanding of all others. According to De Wette, these are rebuking words; according to Meyer, they are a mere recurrence to the question of Mark 4:10. But it is certainly, at the same time, an intimation of the connection of all the parables in the idea of the kingdom of heaven; so that with the explanation of this one, all were explained.

Mark 4:15. These are they by the way-side, where the word is sown.—Through the whole parable we must embrace in one view the field with the seed on it. In Luke, the idea of seed predominates; in Mark, the idea of ground sown over; in Matthew, there is an alternation. In the first instance, the view of the ground sown predominates; in the last, the view of the seed scattered.

Mark 4:16. Which are sown.—Mark the change of tense in Mark: σπειρόμενοι, Mark 4:16; Mark 4:18, and σπαρέντες in Mark 4:20.

Mark 4:18. Who have heard the word.—Hearers preëminently. Diligent hearers, but not doers; ἀκούσαντες instead of ἀκούοντες: B, C, D, L, ., Tischendorf. Mark gives the most vivid picture of them.

Mark 4:21. Is a candle brought to be put.—Not an exhortation to virtue, as Theophylact and others thought, but a statement of the end for which He confided to them the mystery of the kingdom in parables. According to Erasmus: “Do not suppose that what I now commit to you in secret, I would have concealed for ever; the light is kindled by Me in you, that by your ministry it may disperse the darkness of the whole world.”

Mark 4:22. For there is nothing hid.—The concealed is in its very nature destined to be revealed in its time. A thing absolutely and forever concealed would not be concealed; it would as such have no meaning. There is this design in all the concealments of the kingdom of God. Thus the clause forms the complement of the ἵνα above, Mark 4:12.

Mark 4:24. With what measure ye mete.—De Wette (after Euthym. Zig.): “According to the measure of your ability and diligence (as hearers, see the preceding verse), ye will receive instruction.” But it seems more obvious, in the process of the thought, to say, According to the measure of your diligence in teaching will your Master add to your knowledge (docendo discimus, especially in the kingdom of God). For the mere hearing and receiving cannot well be described as a measuring out.

Mark 4:25. For he that hath.—The proverb has, here, more reference to zeal in the teaching function. The living treasure of knowledge will always, by its own nature, go on increasing. We may compare the words concerning the spiritual life springing up within, John 4:14; John 7:38; for living knowledge is never separable from internal spiritual life.

Mark 4:26-29 are a continuation of the parabolic instruction addressed to the people. Meyer: Observe the Aorist βάλη, and then the following Presents: has cast, and then does sleep.

Mark 4:29. When the fruit is brought forth.—But the παραδῷ is not intransitive: When the fruit shall have yielded itself. This relative spontaneousness of the fruit is as if it did not suffer premature cutting before its full ripeness.

Mark 4:30. Or with what comparison.—Meyer: The hearers are now formally addressed in the discourse, as the omission of αὐτοῖς with ἔλεγεν shows.

Mark 4:33. And with many such parables.—Manifestly, Mark knew of other parables of our Lord, which he passes over. As they were able.—This does not refer to their worthiness (Grotius), but to their ability to apprehend (Theophylact, De Wette). It also includes, however, their being able to bear without being offended. Thus it is not a mere literal ἀκούειν in the sense of being able to receive, as Meyer thinks.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. See on the parallels.—On the ἵνα, Mark 4:12, see the notes above.

2. The parable of Mark 4:26-29 teaches, in the figure of the relative independence of nature in the regular development of the seed through an internal energy of growth (αὐτομάτη), the higher relative independence and regular development of the growth of the kingdom of God, or the establishment of Christianity and the Church in the world down to its consummation for the final manifestation of the kingdom of God. (The reapers: the angels, Matthew 13:39) The proper point of comparison is the seed’s impulse of growth from within outwardly, as if by an internal energy of its own, whence follow the apparent spontaneousness, regularity, gradualness, progressiveness, security, and perfection of the development. Thus the naturalness of nature, so to speak, the “metamorphosis of plants,” becomes a symbol of the development of the divine life from the seed of the divine word or regeneration. The germinant energy of growth is here the actual freedom of the new divine-human (not abstractly human, but also not abstractly divine) energy of life in humanity; whether in the regeneration and sanctification of the believing community, or in that of the individual Christian. Here also the development proceeds from within, from the conscious internal being: independent or free (not from God, but in God), naturally and regularly legitimate, gradual, progressive, down to certain and decisive consummation. But it is assumed that human nature in its essence bears the same relation to the word of God, and has as much in common with it, as the earth to the seed-corn. And as the earth only by culture, and tillage, and sowing, overcomes its tendency to wildness, and the bringing forth of thorns and thistles, so also the human heart is set free from its wicked bias, and its thorns and thistles, only by the culture of grace and the seed of the word of God. Meyer: The spontaneousness here set forth does not negate the divine energies of grace; but the end of the parable is not to make the latter prominent, but the former. De Wette: The parable teaches patience, as that of the tares forbearance.—The period of the New Testament Church presents the natural development of the kingdom of God, yet not without the Lord’s overruling, and not without the constant energy of His Spirit. The miraculous seed has become a new nature, from which at the Lord’s appearance new fruits will grow.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

See on the parallels.—Christ teaching in the ship a parable itself of the kingdom of heaven: 1. A figure of the form of that kingdom: a. of the evangelical ministry, b. of the church, c. of missions; 2. a figure of its condition: a. small beginnings, b. poverty, c. mobility, freedom.—Christ in conflict with the sensuous unbelief of the world.—Christ the deliverer of the people from the bonds of ignorance, of carnal notions, and sensuous narrowness.—The teaching wisdom of Christ, as it speaks in parables, a seal of His divine power (of His love as of His wisdom).—He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!—The parables of Jesus as signs of the divine judgments: 1. Figuring the judicial concealments and symbols of truth in the spiritual life of mankind, a. in the Gentile world, b. in the people of Israel, c. in the Christian, specially the medieval Church; 2. figuring their scope and purpose, a. to spare, b. to instruct, and c. to discipline and educate the soul.—The interpretation of the parable of the sower a key to the interpretation of all the rest.—The three parables of our chapter combined, present a figure of the unfolding of the kingdom of heaven, as to its foundation, progress, and completion.—The parable of Mark 4:26-29. Nature, in its normal development from within, a representation of human freedom, and its development in the kingdom of grace.—The word of life in the figure of a grain of wheat: 1. Its internal energy of life; 2. its growth according to laws; 3. its gradualness; 4. its progressive stages; 5. the certainty of its development.—The work of grace, its normal unfolding, in the Church and in individuals.—In the kingdom of grace we must learn not to misapprehend even the immature forms of development (not counting the green stalk as common grass, etc.).—The seed of divine grace requires patient waiting for its maturity.—The human heart may become one with the word of God (in consequence of its original relation to it) through faith; and then there is unfolded in it a divine energy of new life.—For him who rightly cares for the seed, the fruit gradually ripens, although he himself may not know it.—Even in unconscious life, the divine word goes on maturing. (Narratives of the feeble-minded, in whom it gradually was developed. The action of the mind in going to sleep continues in sleep.)—Influences upon the seed of the kingdom of nature analogous to those of the kingdom of grace: the mysterious operation and movement of the Holy Spirit are the sunshine and rain in the kingdom of grace.—The seed, with all its certainty of development, under the necessary condition of sunshine and rain. Application of this to the work of divine grace in the soul of the believer.

Starke:—Quesnel:—An imperfect church, an unworthy pulpit, and poor hearers, may nevertheless form a true, church, accepted of God.—Cramer:—Jesus makes the little ship His pulpit: if we do not diligently hear and obey, He removes Himself with His little ship and pulpit.—Canstein:—Tilling the land is the oldest work of men’s hands, and the most pleasing to God; therefore Christ took His parables so willingly from that occupation.—God’s word is a living seed, by which the spiritually dead hearts of men are made living and fruitful.—Hedinger:—Unchanging seed, variable hearts.—Osiander:—If men did not harden themselves, they would not fall into the danger of reprobation.—Hedinger:—We must not look at the mere shell, but at the kernel of Holy Scripture (on Mark 4:13).—Quesnel:—The knowl edge of divine mysteries is of God, and not of man.—The wisdom of God has not always remained secret, but at the right season has been made manifest to men, 1 Corinthians 2:7.—All things must come to light, whether after a longer or a shorter time.—Faithful pastors and diligent hearers obtain from day to day a larger measure of light and grace.—A faithful and diligent soul has a great treasure—its riches extend to eternity; but an idle soul becomes every day poorer, until at last it loses all.—Oh, how far should we have advanced in the way of salvation, if we had only always used aright the means of grace!—By the sleeping is signified an expectation of blessing, which leaves all care to God; as one may say, I sleep, but my heart wakes.—Majus:—God’s servants should not be impatient when they do not at once see the fruits of their labors.—We must do our work sincerely, and commit to God the result; He will make His true servants rejoice in the day of harvest.—God conceals from His ministers some of the fruits of their diligence, to keep them in humility.—Hope in God, who will not neglect his work in thee.—Christians must aim high, and strive after perfection.—Where God’s word is rightly sown and received, it is never long without fruits of salvation.—Osiander:—We must not expect at once perfect trees of righteousness in the paradise of the Christian Church; time is required for rooting, growing, and bringing forth fruit.

Gerlach:—The longer man retains and studies any one divine truth, the more manifest it becomes, and itself brings all others to light.—Braune:—The unostentatious development of the divine word and the kingdom of God in the heart of man.—As the husbandman hardly distinguishes seeds, so is it with the results of the seed of the word. Learn patience.—Schleiermacher:—(He observes that Christ was not misled by the flocking of multitudes around Himself, but perfectly penetrated His whole auditory—four kinds of soils; but that at the same time He was not angered by this character of His auditory.) If the divine word is received and retained, it is changed into the life of the man; and then in a natural manner his acts are like his words, and become more and more the expression of thy divine word.—The fruit is that which is to be detached again from the plant, itself to be again sown, and from which new life is to arise.—The Redeemer says truly, that there is no other power be which the kingdom of God prospers than this power of the seed, this power of the divine word; that Isaiah, in relation to the office and work of the human sower.—The preparatory work, the tilling of the land, must be distinguished from the sowing.—Gossner:—On Mark 4:23. Him who made the ear, man will not hear.—If we mete out with the measure of Christ, it shall be meted to us again with the same.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Mark 4:1.—Συνάγεται instead of συνήχθη: Lachmann, Tischendorf, after B, C, L.

FN#2 - Mark 4:4.—“Fowls of heaven.” Τοῦ οὐρανοῦ has only D. of the uncial MSS. in its favor. Probably added from Luke 8:5.

FN#3 - Mark 4:5.—Καὶ ἄλλο instead of ἄλλο δέ: Lachmann and Tischendorf, after the best MSS.

FN#4 - Mark 4:6.—Lachmann and Tischendorf, after B, C, D, L, Δ., Vulgate, read καὶ ὅτε ἀνέτειλεν ἥλιος, instead of ἡλίου δὲ ἀνατείλαντος.

FN#5 - Mark 4:10.—Τὰς παραβολάς instead of τὴν παραβολήν: Tischendorf, after B, C, L, Δ. The parable just delivered gave them occasion to ask about the design of parables generally.

FN#6 - Mark 4:11.—The γνῶναι is wanting in A, B, C.* So Lachmann, Tischendorf.

FN#7 - Mark 4:18.—Καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσί instead of καὶ οὖτοί εἰσιν: Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, after B, C.*, D, Vulgate, &c.

FN#8 - Mark 4:19.—Τούτου is wanting in the best MSS, and rejected by Griesbach, Fritzsche, Lachmann, and Tischendorf.

FN#9 - Mark 4:20.—’Εκεῖνοι instead of οὖτοι: Tischendorf, after B, C, L, Δ.

FN#10 - Mark 4:22.—’Εὰν μή, the most difficult and best authenticated reading (A, B, C, Tischendorf). [Meyer thinks that the is an addition, and would explain by comparison with Mark 10:30. He denies the assertion of Fritzsche and De Wette that ἐὰν μή is absurdly used here, and contends that it contains a logical analysis of the thought.—Ed.]

FN#11 - Mark 4:24.—Τοῖς ἀκούουσιν, omitted in Lachmann and Tischendorf, after B, C, D, G, L.

FN#12 - Mark 4:28.—The γὰρ must be given up. Πλήρης σῖτος instead of πλήρη σῖτον: B, Lachmann, Tischendorf.

FN#13 - Mark 4:30.—Πῶς instead of τίνι: Tischendorf, after B, C, L, Δ., Versions. ’Εν τίνι αὐτὴν παραβολῇ θῶμεν instead of ἐν ποίᾳ παραβολῇ παραβάλωμεν αὐτήν: Tischendorf, Lachmann, after B, C.*, L, Δ.

FN#14 - Mark 4:31.—Κόκκῳ: Elzevir, Fritzsche, Tischendorf, Meyer; κόκκον: Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann.


Verses 35-41

4. Conflict of Jesus with the feeble-minded Unbelief of the Disciples; the Stilling of the Storm; and His Triumph over Human Seafarers in their vocation. ( Mark 4:35-41)

(Parallels: Matthew 8:18; Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25)

35And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships 37 And there arose a great storm [squall][FN15] of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow [the boat-cushion]:[FN16] and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

See on the parallels.—Pictorial vividness in the narrative of the voyage: evening, the sudden departure, the convoy of ships, the violence of the storm, the ship all but sinking, the image of Him who slept on the pillow, the reproach of the distressed men that Jesus cared not, the words of rebuke to the wind, the strong reproof of the disciples, their great fear, and its effect.

Mark 4:35. Besides the arrangement according to matter, there is here a definite historical sequence to the preceding section.—And the same day, He saith unto them.—Thus it was before the stormy voyage that our Lord uttered the first parables concerning the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 4:36. Even as He was in the ship.—That Isaiah, they proceeded at once, before they could make special preparation for the voyage. The evening voyage over the sea to the southeast coast was ex tended to several hours, and became a hight voyage.

Mark 4:37. The waves beat into the ship—The ἐπέβαλλεν intransitive, referring to the waves.

Mark 4:40. Meyer: The disciples’ weakness in knowledge and faith is made more prominent by Mark than by the other Synoptics: comp. Mark 6:52; Mark 7:18; Mark 8:17-18; Mark 8:33; Mark 9:6; Mark 9:19; Mark 9:32; Mark 9:34; Mark 10:24; Mark 10:32; Mark 10:35; Mark 14:40.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. See on the parallels.

2. Significance of the crisis of deep excitement: mutual reproaches. The disciples allege against the Lord, groundlessly and irreverently, the reproach of not caring for them; He on His side inflicts the well-founded reproof of despondency and lack of faith. They uttered their charge prematurely, before they had waited to see the Lord’s manner of action; Christ did not utter his reproof (fully, comp. Matthew), until He had brought relief in the danger. This often recurs in the history of the Church’s great tribulations, as well as in the private difficulties of the Christian life.

3. The personification of the wind and sea in Christ’s address is most emphatic in the rebuking words of Christ, as found in Mark. But at the base of this personification there is a dogmatic element, to wit, that nature has acquired a character of apparently wild independence and anarchy since man became unfaithful to his destiny: Rule over it, and make it subject to you. But in this seeming anarchy, which is under the power of God, and is used by Him as a means of discipline and judgment, is reflected that real anarchy, that lack of obedience and faith in the human breast, which is at the same time felt as a lack of self-government and rule over the creature. Therefore we see confronting the unbelief of the disciples Jesus’ confidence; His peace is opposed to their excitement, His self-possession to their distraction; His majestic supremacy over the winds and waves is opposed to their subjection to natural terrors. And the effect Isaiah, that his own disciples experience towards Him the same awe of reverence and fear which they had experienced before towards the frightful sublimity of nature. But now they are the subjects of a fear which passes over into the utterances of a rising and blessed faith.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

See on the parallels.—The voyage of the disciples of Jesus a night-voyage (according to Mark; see the notes) in the life of the disciples: 1. The history; 2. its significance.—The victory of the Lord over feebleminded unbelief: 1. He leads little faith into danger; 2. He lets it wrestle with the peril to the utmost point; 3. He convicts, humbles, and heals it.—The fear of man before the terrors of nature, a sign that he is not consecrated through the terrors of the spirit.—The Lord’s supremacy over human vocations (seafaring, fishing, government, learning).—Trial of the disciples in the danger of death.—The pride of the little apostolical crew, and its humiliation: a sign.—Jesus’ sleeping and awaking: 1. His sleeping, the repose of His divine power, an exercise and test of the human; 2. His awaking, a new glorification of the saving divinity in humanity needing salvation.—Jesus the star of the sea (the anchor, the rudder, the lighthouse, the rescuer of the wrecked).—Danger to life always danger to the soul.—Divine help in our human life should be to us a sign for quickening and salvation.—How all fear of the creature should be changed by the awe of Christ’s presence into peace.—To reverence the Son of God, and to obtain kingly power over the creaturely world, are one and the same—Perfect love casts out fear.—The wide wild world glorified by the Spirit of Christ into a blessed house of God.—Jesus Christ, the commander of wind and sea: 1. In nature; 2. in history; 3. in the fates of the Church.—What follows from His being obeyed by the winds and the waves,—as to Himself, as to the world, as to us?—Christ as the Ruler of nature, and Restorer of its paradisaical peace.

Starke:—The evening may be very different from the early morning.—Faithful servants of God may have some seasons of rest permitted them, lest they sink under their burden.—Going forth with Christ into a sea of tribulation.—If He be with us, we shall not sink and perish.—The little ship of the Church is often so beaten by the storms of tribulation and persecution, that it seems as if it must go down.—Distress teaches man to pray, although faith is never without prayer.—It is the error of men, that they take, at once, danger to be a mark that God takes no heed of them.—Canstein:—A great storm followed by a great calm: so is it ever with God’s consolations after trial.—Quesnel:—God is so gracious and gentle, that He does not despise a slender faith, or reject an imperfect prayer, or cast out a fearful heart.—How profitable would Christians find it, if they would discourse in their social meetings about the wonders of God and the glory of Jesus Christ!

Gerlach:—It is always a blameable unbelief, when we fear to enter the ship with Christ.—Braune:—The difference between Jonah’s sleeping in the ship and that of Jesus.—He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world.—Schleiermacher:—That was their unbelief, He meant, that they thought He could sink at a time when He had not yet given them any commission; that they thought God could take so little care of His work, as that it should sink with them.—There is no one among us who can assure himself that the old Prayer of Manasseh, however entirely he may seem to be buried into the death of Christ, will not rise up with his giant lusts, and involve the soul in storm and tempest.—But if we are members of His body, we should maintain the sure confidence, that in all times of severe trial and temptation, the bond of union between Him and us will not be severed.—As certainly as He could not sink with His disciples on that day, He will not suffer his disciples to sink in this.—Gossner:—When the help of man ceases, God’s help begins; or, faith in the sure word.—When there is storm in the soul, and when thou art in great peril, thou knowest what it is for, and whither to fly.—What calmness in the soul, when the Lord arises and utters His voice

Footnotes:

FN#15 - Mark 4:37.—Lachmann, Tischendorf, following B, C, D, L, &c, read ἤδη γεμίζεσθαι τὸ πλοῖον, instead of αὐτὸ ἤδη γεμίζεσθαι.

FN#16 - Mark 4:40.—The οὕτω is rejected by Lachmann, after B, D, L, Δ., Vulgate. Tischendorf defends it by important Codd. The insertion, indeed, is more easily explained than the omission. Griesbach, Lachmann read οὔπω, instead of πῶς οὐκ, in conformity with B, D, L, Vulgate, Itala, &c.

 


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Mark 4:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/mark-4.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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