Progressive Revelation: One Stroke at a Time
We have seen that since the rejection back in Mark chapter 3, Yeshua began speaking in parables. We read through the Parables of the 4 Soils, of the Lamp, of the Seed, and of the Mustard Seed and saw how Christendom is divided into the Wheat and the Tares, and how the dark side of nominal Christianity will grow to great heights. This group being representative of the majority of people proves very discouraging for believers who seem to be fighting an uphill battle.
But what comes next in Mark will really infuse us with such encouragement, enough to make us feel like young David who, all by himself and with just one stone, brought down the giant Goliath. This next section has the largest concentration of exceptional miracles affirming faith in our great God of wonders.
Action speaks Louder than Words
We will see that in chapter 4, Yeshua does not speak much at all. In fact, if you have a Bible with Yeshua’s words in red, you will notice from verse 35 of Mark 4 to the end of chapter 6, His words are scarce, but His actions are very powerful and they are specifically done for our encouragement, for they are for believers only. And these wonderous events extend from Chapter 4 to chapter 8.
The other miracles, the ones He did before, were mainly for the people outside to see and recognize that He is indeed the Messiah. These miracles served to prove His Messiahship. But once they rejected Him, the proceeding miracles are of another kind, reminding us that He is the Creator of heaven and earth.
These miracles pointed out:
- His supremacy over nature (when He quiets down the wind and the sea in chapter 4).
- His supremacy over the spiritual world (as we will witness two powerful exorcisms in chapter 5 & 7)
- His supremacy over death with the coming back to life of Jairus’s daughter, and His healing powers over a sickness no one else could cure.
We will also witness two miraculous and extraordinary feedings of thousands of people in chapters 6 and 8. This section of Scripture is practically free from opposition by the religious leaders, something which characterized the first 3 chapters of Mark. The Scribes and the Pharisees only reappear, respectively, at chapters 7 and 8. This provides an undisturbed time of relief.
One Stroke of Revelation at a Time
And on the practical side, this whole section will help us to see Yeshua in a new light. It reminds us of the time when Moses was called to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, and he asked God, “Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” Exodus 3:13.
In response, the Lord gave him a name that they already knew before, a connection to the past and a continuous progressive revelation of God into the present.
The Israelite knew the name Yahweh yet only now would experience His power of salvation and His power over nature. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all knew God’s name as Yaweh since between Genesis chapters 12-20 it is found more than 100 times. But now they were to witness more of His plan, more of these powers when He showed His dominion over the 10 gods of Egypt through the 10 plagues and over nature. This power was also shown when He opened the sea to bring His people to freedom.
In the same way, in Mark 4 we will experience the other, masterful side of Yeshua over creation. As the sea closed in over the Egyptian Army who sought to destroy God’s people, so Yeshua is master over the sea itself and all the enemies of His people. Mark then brings out this progressive revelation of the nature of Yeshua.
What is Progressive Revelation?
It is like stacking bricks one on top of another until a beautiful building emerges. The same foundation is present as the building continues to rise; it now only becomes clearer as to detail in how many floors, windows and occupants are there in this building. Progressive Revelation it is like being in front of a white canvas and watching an artist paint, but one cannot perceive the full picture, until the painting is finished. But as he paints, it is one stroke of revelation at a time. Mark and the Bible in general, progressively reveal the Messiah to us, just as is our own spiritual growth, gradual and progressive.
And so, as we move to know more of the great facets of the Messiah we ask: Are we learning more of Yeshua with each passing day or does He stay the same in our minds? Is the canvas becoming richer in color, clearer in perception? Are we continually amazed on a daily basis, by His ways, His Being and are we exclaiming as the angels of heaven, “Holy, Holy, Holy”. They too are progressively discovering more and more of God.
Have we stopped somewhere on the way, having gotten caught in a rocky place where the seed could not find any more soil to take root? Again, it is my prayer that we will all be blessed by what we learn in Mark and ask the same question as the disciples did at the end of the first miracle when they said, “Who is it that the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4: 41
Now, before we consider the first miracle, the calming of the storm, let us read the conclusion of the previous section, for Yeshua has something really nice in there for each one of us. Mark 4:33–34 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
There is one word I want to bring to your attention. The word is privately. Though Jesus had spoken in parables to those on the outside, He later took His own lambs on the inside and explained to them the parables. In many ways, He does the same thing today as He not only teaches corporally for the whole Body, but reveals to each one individually the things we need to learn from His Word. He said in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you”.
The word privately in Greek also means at the proper time, like we read in Titus 1:2-3a in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, but at the proper time manifested, even His word…
This progressive revelation is something done under the private tutorship of the Spirit of God, who is our personal trainer and counselor.