Mark 4:21-41: The Potency of the Seed
April 11, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The power of Jesus’ Word is now made evident in several parables, and one extraordinary miracle, that illustrates the reality of what Jesus has been teaching.
First, the lamp under a basket: it is not normal to turn a light on in a house and then immediately cover it up. Similarly, those who have the light of God’s Word are to go about shining that light, in word and in deed.
Then, with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. In God’s order of things, gifts, graces, and opportunities multiply through being well used and earnestly practiced. If you want to do great things for God, start by doing small things for God with great faithfulness.
Before too long, in God’s providence, you will find that you have more and more and more great things that require greater faithfulness yet. The reverse is also true: if you don’t use it, you lose it. Someone can have remarkable natural abilities, and yet if he does not will to make the most of them, those abilities wither on the vine. The same can be true of spiritual attainments as well; the man who shows great promise of usefulness in God’s kingdom early in life does not always attain to what is expected if he is lazy or unprofitable in his use of the opportunities that have been given to him.
Then comes the parable of the growing seed. The seed of God’s Word grows though the farmer, the preacher, the evangelist, the disciple, “knows not how.” There is a potency to the Word that is invested in it by God, and that Word grows in effect even as the teacher of God’s Word sleeps. As Martin Luther once famously put it: “While Melanchthon and I supped our beer, the Word was at work.” The potency is not in us; it is in it.
All these parables are explained privately to the disciples. Then comes the extraordinary miracle (4:35-41). There is a great storm. And Jesus stills the storm with a word. “Peace! Be Still!” Who could this be—the one whose word has such power?
We then are to worship this King Jesus, and we are to read, preach, and teach his Word.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."