4:1 And he began again to teach by the a sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat b in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
(a) Seaside of Tiberias. 4:3 1 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
(b) In a ship which was launched into the sea.
(1) The same doctrine of the Gospel is sown everywhere, but it it does not have the same success indeed because of the fault of man, but yet by the just judgment of God. 4:10 And when he was c alone, they that were d about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
(c) Literally, "solitary". 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are e without, all [these] things are done in parables:
(d) They that followed him at his heels.
(e) That is to say, to strangers, and such ones as are not of us. 4:19 And the cares f of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
(f) Which pertain to this life. 4:21 2 And he 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?
(2) Although the light of the gospel is rejected by the world, yet it ought to be lit, if for no other reason than this, that the wickedness of the world might be revealed. 4:24 3 And he 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.
(3) The more liberally that we share such gifts as God has given us with our brethren, the more bountiful God will be toward us. 4:26 4 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
(4) The Lord sows and reaps in a manner unknown to men. 4:27 And g should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he h knoweth not how.
(g) That is, when he has finished sowing should wait both day and night not doubting that the seed should spring forth, which grows both by day and night. 4:28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit i of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
(h) It is the duty of the ministers to work the ground with all diligence, and accredit the success to God: for the mighty work of the seed coming to blade and ear is mysterious, and is only known by the fruit that comes.
(i) By a certain power which moves itself. 4:30 5 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
(5) God uses a method that men never do, beginning with the least and ending with the greatest. 4:33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, k as they were able to hear [it].
(k) According to the ability of the hearers. 4:34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he l expounded all things to his disciples.
(l) Literally, "loosed", as you would say, explained to them the hard riddles. 4:37 6 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
(6) They that sail with Christ, although he seems to sleep ever so soundly when they are in danger, yet they are preserved by him in due time, being awakened. 4:40 And he said unto them, m Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
(m) How does it come to pass that you have no faith?