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Mark 4:25

ESV 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."
NIV Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them."
NASB For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.'
CSB For whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."
NLT To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.'
KJV For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
NKJV For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

What does Mark 4:25 mean?

This verse is frequently misunderstood. Jesus isn't talking about riches, talents, blessings, or influence. He is talking about insight into His message. Mark 4:24 explains that those who have wisdom into spiritual things receive that wisdom because they ask for it (Matthew 7:7–8). When we continually fill up our hearts with as much of God's wisdom as we can take in, it multiplies. If we only accept a little truth about Jesus, it will have neither the context nor the mass to stay in our hearts. Wisdom doesn't stay if it's not reinforced.

This is similar to learning a foreign language. A student who studies for years and spends time in an environment where the language is spoken will understand more and more—becoming fluent in ways that can't be formally taught. But if they study for a while, then stop "practicing" the language, and resort to using a smartphone app that gives them a few words, they will quickly lose everything they learned.

In Capernaum, Jesus is inundated with people who want to be healed (Mark 3:7–10), and they listen to some of His teaching (Mark 4:1–2). But they bring only a small "measure" of patience, interest, and submission for Jesus to fill with His message (Mark 4:33). The twelve and the other disciples stay with Jesus and ask for more (Mark 4:10, 34).

This speaks to a hard message that is also touched upon in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30). It is possible to hear and understand and accept a portion of Jesus' message but not be saved. The slothful servant who refuses to invest his master's money shows he does not trust his master, and he is sent into the darkness. His lack of works give evidence that his faith is dead (James 2:26). Jesus warns His casual listeners that following Him and receiving His salvation requires more than picking and choosing what we want to believe (Matthew 7:21–23).
What is the Gospel?
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