Mark 4.24-25

He also said, “take note of what you hear; the measure you give is the measure you will receive, with something more besides. For the man who has will be given more, and the man who has not will forfeit even what he has.”

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2 responses

  1. This part is thick with ambiguities, including even the question whether the two verses belong together, although they seem to fit.Is “take note of what you hear” simply a variant of “If you have ears to hear, then hear,” i.e. “Listen between the lines, now”? Or does the whole sentence mean: “If you pay more attention, you’ll get more out of everything.”And something more?–perhaps: “The more you devote yourself to our [poltical/religious] movement, the better it can reward you.And the obvious: The universe, under God’s rule, gives back what we put into it.That last sentence. The Billie Holliday Interpretation? ~”This is a rough economic system, where everybody who isn’t rich gets robbed?”Or the more spiritual interpretation? If you have spiritual awareness, you’ll be led to develop it further, but if you lack it, you’ll miss all the clues?And so far as it means that, is it to be taken judgmentally? i.e. “You should have enough discernment to follow the hints, and if you don’t, sorry, that’s your problem.” Hmmmm! I’m more inclined to take it as descriptive. Either way… We don’t want to be that poor schmuck forfeiting his tiny glimmer. Better to follow a dim light than to shut our eyes and plead blindness.

  2. “What goes around comes around”, expressed in a wide variety of ways, is one of the most common wisdom teachings in the entire Bible. “You will reap what you sow” is one variant of it; “judge not lest ye be judged, for the measure by which you judge others is the measure by which you will be judged” is another; and both are relevant here.Note that the “sowing/reaping” theme becomes more prominent in the following verses, 26-29. It thus seems very probable to me that the verses before us here — 24 and 25 — were part of a unit with 26-29, in which the idea of sowing and reaping were an extended metaphor, and Christ was drawing out more and more spiritual lessons out of the basic agricultural situation.If that was the case, then v 24 is an “as ye sow, so shall ye reap” text, and v 25 refers to the fact that one reaps more than one sows, but if one cannot sow one will fall deeper and deeper into debt and may even be enslaved. No doubt Christ was asking his hearers to ponder spiritual parallels to these worldly facts of life.

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