Do You Have Ears to Hear and Understand? Afterthoughts on Mark 4:1-20
We plowed through Mark 4:1-20 yesterday and a whole lot more could have been explained and proclaimed. Therefore I wanted to give a brief synopsis of the sermon and provide a few extra comments from John MacArthur and Jonathan Edwards. I hope you will take five minutes and serious consider and digest what is being said.
A Mark 4:1-20 Synopsis
The big idea of the text is that Jesus is using a parable to compare the crowds with fruit-bearing disciples. The crowds are interested in the show – the signs and miracles – but they ultimately reject the teaching of Jesus and bear no fruit. They reject the truth that Jesus has already explained and proclaimed, and because they reject what has already been said to them, they will get no more (Mark 4:9-12, 25). They are hard of heart and are not true disciples.
There are three non-producing soils – the hard soil, the rocky and shallow soil and the weed-infested and crowded soil. They all look different but they all produce the same result: no harvest! The sower would have considered his time and effort a complete failure if the seed only landed in these soils, because they produce nothing of lasting value. There is only one soil that produces a harvest. It is fertile and supernatural. This is the kind of soil that produces a crop that is truly of the Kingdom. John MacArthur says, “There is no such thing as a fruitless Christian.” See Galatians 5:16-26.
MacArthur and Edwards Commentary
The quote/unquote Christian church is full of all kinds of people who believe in Jesus Christ. the devils believe, James 2:19, devil faith. But it’s about holy hatred of sin. It’s about brokenness. It about self-denial. It’s about repentance. Charles Spurgeon said, “There are people who come forward under an emotional appeal and then immediately go backward into their sin. They go into the inquiry room (walk an aisle) and get converted in five minutes and have nothing to do with godliness the rest of their lives.” It’s always the temptation of the church to cheapen evangelism and all it does is create superficiality. Look, false converts are going to happen any way, aiding and abetting them is not acceptable. Dr. John MacCarthur
“If someone’s confession of the Christ doesn’t come from a deep inner contrition, a broken and contrite heart, a desire to be delivered from sin and come under the holy Lordship of Jesus Christ in a life of self-denial and sacrifice and service and even suffering, the you have no root…you have no root…” John MacArthur
“A holy life of holy love is the chief sign of grace.” Jonathan Edwards
A little tension from a Jonathan Edwards quote: “The true saints may be guilty of some kinds and degrees of backsliding, may be foiled by particular temptations, and fall into sin, yea great sins; but they never fall away so as to grow weary of religion and the service of God, and to habitually dislike and neglect it, either on its own account or on account of the difficulties that attend it.”