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Spread the Word!

John Collins03/22/2012In Mark 4, Jesus was speaking to a very large crowd of people by the side of the sea.  So many people were gathered that he entered into a ship to speak to them while they sat on land.

He gave a parable about a farmer who was spreading seed.  As he spread, some of the seed fell away, and the birds came and devoured the seed.  

Some also fell away on stony ground without much dirt, and it sprang up very quickly with no depth to the ground.  The sun rose and scorched it, because without any root, it could do nothing but wither.

Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew around it.  The thorns choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

Some, though, fell on good ground.  It sprang up and increased, and started yielding fruit.  Some brought thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred.

When he was alone with hid disciples, he asked them about the parable.  He said that they alone were given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but to everyone else, Jesus spoke in parables.

Jesus said that in seeing, they may see things and not perceive what really happened.  In hearing, they may hear things and not understand them.  It is better to speak to them in parables so they would be converted to Christ, and their sins be forgiven.

Then, He began to explain the parable to them.

The sower spread the Word.  Those that are by the way side where the Word is sown, Satan comes immediately and takes the Word away from them.  

Those that are on stony ground are the ones who have heard the Word and immediately receive it with gladness.  They have no root in themselves, so they only endure for a short time.  Afterwards, when persecution or affliction comes for the Word's sake, they are immediately offended.

Those which are sown among the thorns are the people that hear the Word, but the cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, and lusts of other things start entering in.  These things choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.

The ones sown on good ground are the people who hear the Word and receive it.  They start to bring forth fruit, some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred.

Jesus asked the disciples, is a candle supposed to be put under a bushel or under a bed?  Shouldn't it be set on a candlestick?  

He said that there is nothing hid which cannot be shown.  There was nothing kept secret, that was not spread abroad.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Are we spreading the Word to others?  Are we spreading the Word everywhere so that we can bring forth many fruit?  Do we take care to help the Word in the weaker ones, so that it takes root and grows?  Do we let riches and other things choke out our fruit?  Do members of our congregations start to bring in thirty, sixty, or a hundred new fruit?  Do we shine our lights high on a candlestick, or do we hide it under a bed for only a small group to see?  Do we become obsessed with the mystery of the parables, or do we hear and understand them?  Are we even sowing seed at all?  Is our seed the Word, or are we spreading something else?