Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Word's Light on a Lamp Stand

Tonight I started listening to the first course of the Charis Bible College's 3 year ministry course. The topic is "The Integrity of the Word" and the first subsection deals with the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4: 1- 9). Jesus said that this is the key parable and if we don't understand this parable we won't be able to understand any of the others, or at least get the same value out of the others that we could if we understood this parable.

My wife and I have previously received the revelation that the seed is the Word of God, not money, which some TV preachers want us to believe since they want people to pay them money as seed for other things, such as healing, conversion of loved ones, prosperity, etc. These things are not for sale, as they would have us believe. We merely have to read to and listen to the Word on these topics and thus sow the seed of the Word in our hearts. Our hearts are able to grow things over time by faith.

What struck me tonight may be quite obvious but somehow it's the first time that I realize what Jesus was talking about when He mentioned the light under a basket. Quite explicitly it is stated in Mark 4: 10- 12 that the purpose of the parables is to teach us truths which are hidden to the worldly people who don't have the Holy Spirit revealing the truth to them. The truths are not so much hidden from them as hidden for us to find if we dedicate some time to it and prepare our heart before reading the Word.

On the surface Mark 4: 21- 25 talks about the light under a basket and how a lamp is not meant to be hidden under a basket or under a bed but to be set on a lampstand where it can have the maximum illuminating effect. The parables or the Word is not meant to be obscure but for us to study it diligently so that it can illuminate our lives and our hearts to the maximum. 

Jesus says to take heed what we hear for with the same measure that we use it will be measured to us (so the more and the more intensely we listen and read the Word, the more revelation we will receive). Then he states explicitly, "To you who really hear, more will be given (revealed) - my emphasis added. The more we listen and receive from the Word, the more revelation will be multiplied to us.

My interpretation of what Jesus says in Mk. 4: 25 is that For whoever has (received revelation), to him more (revelation and fruit) will be given; but whoever does not have (those who forget what they've heard and who don't put in an effort to digest and understand and meditate on the Word which they have heard), even what they think they have will be taken away from them (like the birds of the air who devour the seed which fell by the wayside, i.e. what the hearers don't think about and try to understand and thus to remember it, that gets taken away from them by the devil who tempts them with distractions and entertainment to occupy their minds, preventing the Word from penetrating it and for them to bear fruit from it).

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