Lesson 19

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

4:24 He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear. 4:25 For whoever has, to him will more be given, and he who doesn't have, from him will be taken away even that which he has."

Today's Lesson 

As we have discussed over the last several lessons, this section of Mark contains some of the collected teachings of Jesus. Each saying does not depend on the prior sayings nor does it necessarily tie into what follows. The first in the series was the popular Parable of the Sower. The next was a short teaching on the lamp and the lampstand. In today's lesson, Jesus speaks about the responsibility of those who have heard the word.


What Jesus tells His disciples here is that people that have received a revelation from God are responsible for their acceptance or their rejection of that revelation. This teaching is consistent with all the teachings of the Old Testament. Everywhere in the scripture, people who receive a special revelation from God are required to be more responsible than those that have only received the general revelation that is given to all men.


There are several examples from the Old Testament scriptures of men that were given much from whom much was required. Moses is the best example. For a relatively minor offense, Moses was not allowed to enter the Promise Land. More was expected of Moses because Moses had received the greatest revelation of God that mortal man could receive at that point. For each revelation that Moses received, more was expected of him. This is what Jesus meant when He proclaimed, "For whoever has, to him will more be given." But, Moses also lost all of his privilege in the end because of something that he did out of anger. For other, lesser men, something like that might have been forgiven. But Moses was held to a higher standard.


The same could be said for other religious figures from history. King David rose to prominence because he was a man after God's own heart. He was given much and much was expected of him. He paid a high price for his sin and failure. The whole nation of Israel could be said to be an example of this teaching. Israel received blessing after blessing. But, they were also judged more harshly because they had received the revelation from God. Their sins were greater because they had heard the Word and more were expected of them.


We cannot escape the obligation that hearing the Word of God places on us. We may ignore it, but we ignore it at our own peril. Hearing the truth makes it possible to hear even more truth. But for each truth that we hear from God, we become more responsible for our actions to God. In the same sense, if we refuse to listen and to receive revelation, soon even the revelation that we have received will become worthless to us.


We are responsible to God to respond to what He has given us. If we ignore Him or refuse His gifts, God will not force Himself on us against our will. He will simply turn to those who do accept and give them more.


Are you waiting for a special revelation from God? Are you prepared for the responsibilities that will come with that revelation. Are you prepared for the standard of obedience that will be expected of you?


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