Mark 4:34
But without a parable spoke he not to them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
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(34) He expounded.—The word may be noted as being the verb from which is formed the noun “interpretation” in 2Peter 1:20, and so takes its place in the coincidences of phraseology which connect that Epistle with this Gospel. (See Introduction.)

4:21-34 These declarations were intended to call the attention of the disciples to the word of Christ. By his thus instructing them, they were made able to instruct others; as candles are lighted, not to be covered, but to be placed on a candlestick, that they may give light to a room. This parable of the good seed, shows the manner in which the kingdom of God makes progress in the world. Let but the word of Christ have the place it ought to have in a soul, and it will show itself in a good conversation. It grows gradually: first the blade; then the ear; after that the full corn in the ear. When it is sprung up, it will go forward. The work of grace in the soul is, at first, but the day of small things; yet it has mighty products even now, while it is in its growth; but what will there be when it is perfected in heaven!Without a parable spake he not unto them - That is, the things pertaining to his kingdom. On other subjects he spake without parables. On these, such was their prejudice, so many notions had they contrary to the nature of his kingdom, and so liable would plain instructions have been to give offence, that he employed this method to "insinuate" truth gradually into their minds, and to prepare them fully to understand the nature of his kingdom.

They were alone - His disciples.

He expounded - Explained. Showed them more at length the spiritual meaning of the parables.

34. But without a parable spake he not unto them—See on [1433]Mt 13:34.

and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples—See on [1434]Mr 4:22.

See Poole on "Mark 4:33" But without a parable spake he not unto them,.... For the above reason, as well as for the accomplishment of Scripture; See Gill on Matthew 13:34, Matthew 13:35.

And when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples: after they returned with him from the sea side, to the house in Capernaum, where he usually was when there; see Matthew 13:36. The multitude being dismissed, he unfolded and explained all these parables to his disciples, and led them into a large knowledge of himself, and the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; whereby they were furnished for the work he had called them to, and designed them for.

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.

Mark 4:34. χωρὶς παραβολῆς, etc., without a parable He was not wont to speak to the people, not merely that day, but at any time.—ἐπέλυε, etc., He was in the habit of interpreting all things (viz., the parables in private to His own disciples, the Twelve, cf. ἐπιλύσεως, 2 Peter 1:20). This does not necessarily imply that the multitude understood nothing, but only that Jesus, by further talk, made the disciples understand better. Yet on the whole it must be admitted that in his account of Christ’s parabolic teaching Mark seems to vacillate between two opposite views of the function of parables, one that they were used to make spiritual truths plain to popular intelligence, the other that they were riddles, themselves very much needing explanation, and fitted, even intended, to hide truth. This second view might be suggested and fostered by the fact that some of the parables express recondite spiritual truths.
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