“He said to them, ‘Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given’” (Mark 4:24).
Jesus knew these words might sound strange to nonspiritual ears, so he preceded his message by saying, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” (4:23). He was telling us, in essence, “If your heart is open to God’s Spirit, you will understand what I have to say to you.”
What, exactly, is Jesus saying in this passage? He is speaking of the glory of God in our lives — that is, Christ’s manifest presence. The Lord measures out his glorious presence in various amounts, whether to churches or to individuals. Some do not receive any of his glory, yet others receive an ever-increasing measure emanating from their lives and churches in greater and greater amounts.
God has promised to pour out his Spirit on his people in these last days. Indeed, all of scripture points to a triumphant, glory-filled church at the close of time. Jesus himself said the gates of hell will not prevail against his church, so no matter how fiercely Satan bares his teeth, he cannot stop God’s work. Jesus has removed his bite!
Paul writes, “To each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7). We have each been given a measure of God’s Spirit according to his divine allotment. Paul writes, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).
What is God’s goal in measuring out his Spirit — his glory and presence — to us in varying amounts? He does this for a single purpose: “Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 4:13).