Mark 4:2

He taught them (edidasken autou). Imperfect tense describing it as going on. In parables (en parabolai). As in Matthew 3:23 , only here more extended parables. See on Mt 13 for discussion concerning Christ's use of parables. Eight are given there, one (the Lamp both in Mark 4:21 and Luke 8:16 (both Sower and the Lamp in Luke), one alone in Mark 4:26-29 (seed growing of itself) not in Matthew or Luke, ten on this occasion. Only four are mentioned in Mark 4:1-34 (The Sower, the Lamp, the Seed Growing of Itself, the Mustard Seed). But Mark adds ( Mark 4:34 ) "without a parable spake he not unto them," clearly meaning that Jesus spoke many others on this occasion and Matt. after mentioning eight ( Matthew 13:34 ) makes the same statement. Manifestly, therefore, Jesus spoke many parables on this day and all theories of exegesis or dispensations on the basis of the number of these kingdom parables are quite beside the mark. In beginning Jesus said: Hearken (Akouete). It is significant that even Jesus had to ask people to listen when he spoke. See also verse Matthew 9 .

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