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INVESTMENT AND RETURN

May 21, 2013

Text:  And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest, nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him  hear.” And he said to them, Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Mark 4:21-25

The Bible was given to us by God through divinely inspired men, not to be kept secret, but to be understood by all men. Many people say, “I can’t understand the Bible.” So they don’t try. They don’t study on their own, and they don’t attend Bible classes. They assume that they know enough to “get by”.

Nevertheless, Jesus tells us here that one is rewarded in proportion to the study in which he employs himself. I call it “investment and return”. This is a theme that Jesus uses several times in his teaching.

Two principles come to light quickly. First, (Mark 4:21) God did not intend to keep his word under wraps! God sent His revelation into the world to shine upon all mankind. Everything God wants us to know he has told us in his word. Second, (Mark 4:22) every secret God wants us to know is opened to our minds in the study of his words. God is open and honest, and wants us to exert ourselves to find his will.

Jesus then promotes giving intense attention to the word of God: “Take heed what you hear.”  That is, diligently apply yourself to the study of God’s word. The apostle Paul concurs: “Do your best to present yourself as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15  Further, you learn in proportion to the amount of effort you apply to examining the Word. Jesus insists that if you put in great effort, you will receive bountiful knowledge and understanding.

The Son of God here makes a comparison of the results of two kinds of student. The first is the diligent truth seeker. He works at study hard and when he has gathered much understanding, he will receive even greater knowledge.  The second student is a “slacker” who is marginally  involved in the study of the holy text. He neglects Bible study and what he does attain he quickly forgets. Like the diligent student, he is reward by his efforts. Or I should say, his lack of efforts are unproductive. Two old adages come to mind. “Nothing ventured; nothing gained.” And, “Use it, or lose it.”

“I believe that the Bible is to be understood and received in the plain and obvious meaning of its passages; for I cannot persuade myself that a book intended for the instruction and conversion of the whole world should cover its true meaning in any such mystery and doubt that none but critics and philosophers can discover it.”   Daniel Webster
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One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    I hadn’t thought of the text that way. It makes sense. Thanks.–Larry

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