Teaching Through Parables ~ Part 4
In our first post in this mini-series on the Parables of Yeshua, we looked at why He spoke in parables. In Part 2, we examined the Parable of the Sower and its explanation. In Part 3, we examined The Parable of the Weeds and its explanation. Now, we come to Mark 4:21, The Parable of the Lighted Lamp.
The Parable of The Lighted Lamp
21 He said to them, “A lamp isn’t brought in to be put under a bowl or under the bed, is it? Wouldn’t you put it on a lampstand? 22 Indeed, nothing is hidden, except to be disclosed; and nothing is covered up, except to come out into the open. 23 Those who have ears to hear with, let them hear!” 24 He also said to them, “Pay attention to what you are hearing! The measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you—and more besides! 25 For anyone who has something will be given more; but from anyone who has nothing, even what he does have will be taken away.”~ Mark 4:21-25 (see also Luke 8:16-18).
The Parable of the Lamp following Mark’s Parable of the Sower (4:13-20) – and Yeshua’s teaching about who can receive His message and who is not – implies that the mystery of the Kingdom of God is already revealed by Yeshua. Those willing to embrace it can receive it.
The Parable of The Seed Growing
Yeshua has already associated the Kingdom with a seed that grows (Mark 4:20), and He repeats that motif here (v. 28).
26 And he said, “The Kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed on the ground. 27 Nights he sleeps, days he’s awake; and meanwhile, the seeds sprout and grow – how, he doesn’t know. 28 By itself the soil produces a crop – first the stalk, then the head, and finally the full grain in the head. 29 But as soon as the crop is ready, the man comes with his sickle, because it’s harvest-time.” ~ Mark 4:26-29.
The Parable of The Mustard Seed
30 Yeshua also said, “With what can we compare the Kingdom of God? What illustration should we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when planted, is the smallest of all the seeds in the field; 32 but after it has been planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all the plants, with such big branches that the birds flying about can build nests in its shade.” ~ Mark 4:30-32 (see also Mattityahu 13:31-32 and Luke 13:18-19).
Mustard is a tiny seed that grows into a 10-foot-high shrub. The shrub grew along the shores of the Sea of Galilee and may have been immediately in view of Yeshua hearers. But it is not the world’s smallest. Scripture, to be inspired by God, does not require that every facet of nature be woodenly reported. For Yeshua’s hearers, mustard might well have been the smallest seed frequently encountered. God used the culture of the age to convey spiritual truth.
In our next post, we continue to focus on Yeshua’s Teaching Through Parables by returning to Mattityahu 13:31.