Mark 4:19
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
4:1-20 This parable contained instruction so important, that all capable of hearing were bound to attend to it. There are many things we are concerned to know; and if we understand not the plain truths of the gospel, how shall we learn those more difficult! It will help us to value the privileges we enjoy as disciples of Christ, if we seriously consider the deplorable state of all who have not such privileges. In the great field of the church, the word of God is dispensed to all. Of the many that hear the word of the gospel, but few receive it, so as to bring forth fruit. Many are much affected with the word for the present, who yet receive no abiding benefit. The word does not leave abiding impressions upon the minds of men, because their hearts are not duly disposed to receive it. The devil is very busy about careless hearers, as the fowls of the air go about the seed that lies above ground. Many continue in a barren, false profession, and go down to hell. Impressions that are not deep, will not last. Many do not mind heart-work, without which religion is nothing. Others are hindered from profiting by the word of God, by abundance of the world. And those who have but little of the world, may yet be ruined by indulging the body. God expects and requires fruit from those who enjoy the gospel, a temper of mind and Christian graces daily exercised, Christian duties duly performed. Let us look to the Lord, that by his new-creating grace our hearts may become good ground, and that the good seed of the word may produce in our lives those good words and works which are through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father.See the notes at Matthew 13:18-23. 19. And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in—or "the pleasures of this life" (Lu 8:14).

choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful—First, "The cares of this world"—anxious, unrelaxing attention to the business of this present life; second, "The deceitfulness of riches"—of those riches which are the fruit of this worldly "care"; third, "The pleasures of this life," or "the lusts of other things entering in"—the enjoyments in themselves may be innocent, which worldly prosperity enables one to indulge. These "choke" or "smother" the word; drawing off so much of one's attention, absorbing so much of one's interest, and using up so much of one's time, that only the dregs of these remain for spiritual things, and a fagged, hurried, and heartless formalism is at length all the religion of such persons. What a vivid picture is this of the mournful condition of many, especially in great commercial countries, who once promised much fruit! "They bring no fruit to perfection" (Lu 8:14); indicating how much growth there may be, in the early stages of such a case, and promise of fruit—which after all never ripens.

See Poole on "Mark 4:3" And the cares of this world,.... The perplexing and distressing cares of it to get as much of it as they can, for themselves and families, fill their minds, and possess their souls even when and while they are hearing the word: and the deceitfulness of riches; or riches which are deceitful, especially when trusted in, and being obtained, they do not give the satisfaction they promise: and the lusts of other things entering in: carnal desires after other objects, which are pleasing to the sensual mind, entering into their hearts, and gaining, the ascendant there: choke the word, and it, becometh unfruitful; these being more attended to than the word is, that is quite lost, and becomes useless, and unprofitable. 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.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 4:19 specifies the hindrances, the choking thorns.—μέριμναι τ. α., cares of life, in the case of thoughtful devout poor (Matthew 6:25 f.).—ἀπάτη τ. πλ., the deceitfulness of wealth in the case of the commercial class (Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum: Matthew 11:21-23. Vide notes there).—αἱ π. τ. λ. ἐπιθυμίαι, the lusts for other things—sensual vices in the case of publicans and sinners (chap. Mark 2:13-17). Jesus had met with such cases in His past ministry.19. the cares of this world] The word rendered “cares” denotes in the original “distracting anxieties,” which, as it were, “cut a man in sunder.” St Luke expands the one word here employed into “cares,” “riches,” and “pleasures” (Luke 8:14).Mark 4:19. Αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι, the lusts of other things) the pleasures of life, in Luke 8:14 : in one’s mode of living, loves, tastes for literature, etc.—εἰσπορευόμεναι, entering in) He who hath received the word of God, ought to see, lest the cares of the world wax strong upon him, and take more violent hold, than even before, of his new-born expansion of soul and his mental affections, which have been rendered more enlarged by means of the word of God.—γίνεται, it becometh) viz. the word.Verse 19. - The cares of the world (τοῦ αἰῶνος); literally, of the age; that is, temporal and secular cares, incident to the age in which our lot is cast, and which are common to all. These, like thorns, distress and trouble, and often wound the soul; while, on the other hand, the care of the soul and the thought of heavenly things compose and establish the mind. The deceitfulness of riches. Riches are aptly compared to thorns, because, like thorns, they pierce the soul. St. Paul (1 Timothy 6:10) speaks of some who, through the love of riches, "have pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Riches are deceitful, because they often seduce the soul from God and from salvation, and are the cause of many sins. "How hardly," says our Lord, "shall a rich man enter into the kingdom of God I" They have a tendency to choke the Word of God, and to weaken the power of religion. "Those are the only true riches," says St. Gregory, "which make us rich in virtue." The lusts of other things entering in (αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι)

Lusts, not in the limited sense of mere sexual desire, but in the general sense of longing. The word is also used of desire for good and lawful things (Luke 22:15; Philippians 1:23).

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