Mark 4 Jesus, as was His custom has just taught the masses in the form of a parable about a farmer to illustrate a truth about the Kingdom of Heaven. In this case the lesson is applicable to the followers of Jesus in that we are to follow the example of the farmer of that day. The disciples have not discerned the application and Jesus gives it to them alone. Mar 4:14 "The sower sows the word. As the people of God we have a duty as described in Matt. 28:18-20. We are to make disciples and to do this we must spread the Gospel Message. Mar 4:15 "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. (Mar 4:4 as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. ) As the farmer moved his seed to the field some would fall along the way and having no place to take root and it was gobbled up by the birds. In like manor, I have spread the Word of God across the Internet from my wheelchair and thousands have received the message but Satan distracts them with some momentary pleasure and they are never heard from again. This is true of every Preacher, teacher, and Evangelist. Mar 4:16 "In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; Mar 4:17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. (Mar 4:5 "Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. Mar 4:6 "And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. ) In the day of Jesus the Harrows were used to turn the seed into the ground but they did not turn it deeply ad any rock beneath the surface would remain undetected and the seed there sprang up and died. The same is true of many that hear the Good News. They rejoice at the news and then just wither away. Mar 4:18 "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, Mar 4:19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. (Mar 4:7 "Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. ) I do my very best to never see these people and yet they are in attendance, at every service I have ever attended. Do I just ignore these people? No! Many of this group are in business and instead of seeking to serve God they seek to use their membership at their local church to increase their business. They are everywhere and it is easy for them to cause us to stumble and become judgmental. Mar 4:20 "And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." (Mar 4:8 "Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." These people are easy to spot, they work towards the Kingdom with an undying vigor and enthusiasm. They stand in the pulpits, teach in the classrooms, cut the grass, tend the shrubs, visit the sick and perform a million other tasks that have mistakenly been relegated to the pastor of the church. When I was saved, one night in a bar, I could not satisfy my hunger for knowledge of God. The more I studied the more my desire to serve God grew until I was teaching children and the evening men's class. Over the past 19 years (in just eight days) that has grown to filling the pulpit when the pastor vacationed, serving in a prison ministry and teaching on the web to the world wide audience. Those that are found in this group have no idea of the numbers, that's God's business, ours is to serve. Mar 4:21 And He was saying to them, "A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? Mar 4:22 "For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. Mar 4:23 "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." Here we have the emphases on the teaching placed. Jesus made this same statement in verse 9 and God never says anything twice that can be ignored. In verses 21 through 23 we have the life application of this statement. The man, whose spiritual ears are opened can hear the lessons taught here, it is he that has ears to hear. Mar 4:24 And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. Mar 4:25 "For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him." In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) we have the lesson of this statement illustrated. Anyone that has studied the Bible for very long also knows that there is a hidden danger in this statement and the Matthew passage. When we work we must have our mind in the correct position also. If we are busy to earn the reward instead of for the purpose of building the Kingdom, greed has entered in and our good works are no longer profitable to us. In Romans 3:20-26 we are taught that there is justification found only in our faith and then James teaches us that if we have faith that we will exhibit it by our works, so where did the Pharisees go so wrong? They were very proud of their works, pride. We do not work to gain position in Heaven, we work to build the kingdom and that belongs to God. Mar 4:26 And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; Mar 4:27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows--how, he himself does not know. The first twenty or thirty men that witnessed to me never saw the seed sprout. Most of them had n idea that they were watering and not planting and yet they were faithful to play their part in my salvation. When I cross the Jordan and enter the gates, then they will know their reward for thei work. Mar 4:28 "The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. Before I prepared the land for my house there were weeds, trees, flowers and animals growing there that no-one planted. God can produce all the people He wishes to fellowship with but has instead given the honor of working toward that purpose to us. Mar 4:29 "But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." We work also because we do not know when the harvest will come and we do not want anyone to go to Hell. That is the heart of God. (2Pet. 3:9) Mar 4:30 And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? Mar 4:31 "It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, Mar 4:32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE." No matter how many people walk away from us with disgust in their voices, if we never lead but one soul to the foot of the cross that one person might be the next Billy Graham.