Being Open Minded To God

Mark 4.21

Sermon by Dr Peter Masters

Christ’s parable about not covering a lampstand challenges us to listen to God, and not to remain unaware of how He must reject all who will not seek and find Him. How to listen so that we experience powerful life-changing answers to our prayers.

‘And he [Jesus Christ] said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not to be set on a candlestick?’

And my title for this address is Being Open-Minded to God. And this is what this passage is about, how you should hear the Word of God. Now the words I’ve read are a kind of appendix to the famous parable of the sower. Here is Jesus Christ engaging in his brilliant rhetorical questions, asking questions that demand only one answer, and then applying it to the souls of the people. Here are some of his enigmatic but wonderful analogies. His word pictures. So here is a little appendix to the sower, and a parallel passage applying the sower. And we’ll look at it this evening.

And here’s the verse again, verse 21. And he said unto them, Is a candle, let’s read, a lamp. Because the Greek says a lamp, not a candle. They didn’t have candles in those days. The term candle is used in the King James translation to be helpful to that generation. But the literal is a lamp brought to be put under a bushel or under a bed, and not to be set on a lampstand, rendered here a candlestick. Well, we understand that in effect there’s no difference.

How do you hear, how do you listen to the Bible, to God’s Word, to a message which is taken from the Book of God? How will you listen? How you listen determines your spiritual standing. Whether you become a child of God, whether you know him and walk with him, or whether you don’t. How you listen will determine the course of your entire life. How you listen will determine what happens to you in eternity. And so these words are so important. A lamp, a lampstand. And here in the verse, to complete the picture, what is meant by a bushel? Well, it is a measure. It could be a basket that held a certain measure of wheat or barley.