“And he [Jesus] said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath” (Mark 4:24-25).

In the above verses, Jesus said the one who has something will receive more of it, and the one who has a little bit will have it taken away. That doesn’t sound fair, does it? In actuality, it is fair, and it makes all the sense in the world, when you know what He’s talking about.

You may have heard sayings like, “the haves and the have nots” or “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Those sayings, talking about riches, didn’t come from this passage. They may sound similar, but the Lord is not talking about money. He’s talking about the knowledge of God.

Just before these verses, the Lord gave the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed represents the Word of God which is sown like seed in people’s hearts. Four different kinds of soil are mentioned: the wayside, the shallow ground, the thorny ground, and the good ground. They all represent how people respond in their hearts to God’s Word.

The first soil represents people who hear God’s Word but don’t want to listen (“then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” Luke 8:12). They hear how to receive Jesus as Saviour but aren’t interested. The shallow ground represents people who hear the Word, and it interests them for a while. However, their interest doesn’t last, especially “when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word” (Matthew 13:21). Others hear the Word, but their hearts are like thorny soil, “choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14).

Finally, the good ground represents people who “in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). They hear the truth that they’ve sinned against a holy God. They’re convicted and uncomfortable, but still they listen. They hear how Jesus died for their sins and rose again. And by coming to Him in repentance and receiving Him by faith as their personal Saviour, they will have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. They make the decision to receive Christ.

Once they are saved, they learn to spend time in God’s Word and listen to God’s voice as He speaks to their hearts through it. They enjoy it and want more of it, and they learn more about God: “unto you that hear shall more be given” (Mark 4:24).

People choose in their hearts what kind of “soil” they’ll be, whether or not they’ll receive God’s Word. God said this to the prophet Ezekiel about Israel, who had rebelled terribly against Him:  “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 12:2). The problem was not their eyes or their ears, but their heart. They decided in their heart that they wouldn’t take heed to God’s Word.

People choose either to be the spiritual “haves” or “have nots,” and “the spiritual rich who get richer” or “the spiritual poor who get poorer.” God wants people to enjoy the riches of His salvation and the treasures of His Word, but we have to choose, “whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). The only regret you will have about receiving Jesus as Saviour will be that you hadn’t done it sooner.

If you want to see from the Bible how to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life by receiving the Lord Jesus as your personal Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.

Brian Miller 9/20/2018

Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822