What does Mark 4:25 mean?
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.”
Verse Commentary:
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).
Verse Context:
Mark 4:21–25 is Jesus' explanation of what makes for good learning conditions. Jesus has previously revealed why some people accept His teaching while others don't (Mark 4:1–20). ''Light'' is the truth of Jesus that should be let free to reveal the secret of the gospel. But it will only provide illumination for those who pay attention and come with a deep desire to understand. Next, Jesus will tell the disciples their responsibility in spreading the gospel (Mark 4:26–29) and what reaction they can expect (Mark 4:30–32). Luke also records this story in Luke 8:16–18 while Matthew touches on the themes in Matthew 5:15–16 and 10:26.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus speaks in parables to the assembled crowd, giving them an opportunity to decide how much spiritual truth they want to absorb. The disciples, wanting to learn more, ask Jesus to explain the meaning of the parables He has taught. As Jesus explains these ideas, He demonstrates that a person's spiritual knowledge is based on their willingness to pursue truth. After describing Jesus' teaching in some detail, the Gospel of Mark describes how Jesus calms a storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Chapter Context:
Mark 3 explores the different ways people react to Jesus' teaching and miracles. They either follow Him, use Him, hide Him, or destroy Him. In Mark 4, Jesus explains why people react the way they do. He uses parables to explain who is serious about learning from Him. The softer a person's heart is, the more truth God will reveal. Soon, the twelve will also spread Jesus' message, although they will not be responsible for the spiritual growth of those who believe. The following chapter returns to depicting Jesus' miracles, including two of His most famous.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 7/15/2024 1:23:04 AM
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