The verses that we are looking at in this study are intended to reinforce the parable of the sower. In Mark 4:21-25 we find teaching that affects the life of a truly born-again believer.
Our spiritual light
“And He said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad” (Mark 4:21-22).
The majority of believers who hear God’s word never tell others about the Lord. This is like owning a torch but never allowing anyone else to see the light. The spiritual light given to us by Christ is for the benefit of others as well as ourselves. It is our duty to broadcast the message of salvation throughout the world, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). This light comes from the “True Light”. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). He is that “True Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9). Those who have this light cannot hide it from others except through disobedience.
Every believer will have to give an account of himself when the “Book of Life” is opened at the judgement, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13, see also Revelation 20:12-13). Will we be found guilty of hiding the light of God’s word? “Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strowed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine” (Matthew 25:24-25). Are we content to be a lazy, do-nothing Christian that gives no thought for the lost and their eternal doom? Are we fearful and ashamed to speak up for Christ? Preaching and teaching the truth is not for the few but for every one who is a follower of the Lord. We have the medicine for the sin-sick soul, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). The sentiments of the apostle Paul ought to be ours too, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Someone has said that most Christians are like the Dead Sea, closed at the mouth.
Our Spiritual listening
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And He said unto them, Take heed what ye hear” (Mark 4:23-24a)
As believers we ought to love the truth and obey it. Only then can what we hear be transformed into faith, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Without a listening ear it is impossible to receive anything from God, “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts …” (Hebrews 3:7-8). If we are unwilling to hear His word, how do we expect the lost to do so? It is very rare for someone to be brought to salvation without hearing the word, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13).
Preaching may be “foolishness” to the lost, but it is still a means of God’s power and grace (1 Corinthians 1:18). The majority of church-goers are content with forms, hymns and prayers, but reject preaching and the need to call the lost to Christ. The true believer must uphold and proclaim the Scriptures, “Despise not prophesyings [Gk. Preaching, instruction, exhortation]” (1 Thessalonians 5:20) … “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
Our spiritual life
“With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath” (Mark 4:24b-25).
Everything we have in the Christian life is a gift from God. Repentance, faith and holiness are attained by the believer to the level of diligence and obedience he has. God never blesses indolence and laziness, but those who persist and endure will receive His rewards, “Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger” (Proverbs 19:15). To retain what we have we must commit our ways entirely unto the Lord.
We must give attention to the principle of spiritual prosperity. Those who grow in grace, knowledge and holiness are diligent students of the Scriptures. They are diligent in the word, in prayer, in fellowship with other believers and in spreading the Good News. Just as muscles are strengthened through use, so the soul is renewed by hearing and obeying God’s word. We reap according to what we have sown, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8). God has supplied us with all we need for our spiritual life. If we do not use it, we will lose even that which we think we have.
Do we want to grow in the Lord? Do we want to see others coming to the Lord? Then we, as Bible-believing Christians, must live according to the light, we must “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7), and diffuse it so that others may be attracted to it. The more attention we give to God’s word, the greater will be the light of His grace and power in our lives.