Mark 4:34 (KJV) Two Levels of Teaching

Mark 4:34 (KJV)
But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

There are two levels of teaching implied in this passage; there is the broader message to the multitudes and the more explicit and meaningful message given to the disciples.

It is not wrong to preach to the crowds, knowing that when you do so the message is of necessity going to be broad and general. The problem I think comes when that is all the message anyone ever gets. When the preacher pushes for large attendance at every service, for instance, he will almost surely, even if subconsciously, generalize his message. There is nothing wrong with ever growing smaller circles of contact because the smaller the circle the more specific can be the message. When we finally get down to just one or two, then the teaching is most likely at its highest level of effectiveness.

No preacher should disregard the multitudes just as no Christian should skip the general assemblies of our services. But neither should the preacher isolate himself from smaller venues nor should the Christian satisfy himself with only the one, larger service.

All of us should seek value in every venue of teaching: the general assembly on Sunday Morning, the tighter, more specific message of Sunday evenings, the closeknit teaching that happens in the mid week and opportunities for questions and discussion one on one or with just a handful with the pastor.

To my reader:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

Mark 4:34 (KJV) Two Levels of Teaching

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Effective Preaching

1 Thessalonians 2:2 KJV

But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.


Sometimes preaching is attached with great liberty:

  • It is obvious that the hearers are connecting with the message
  • There is a spirit among the congregation as a whole that is conducive to preaching
  • The preacher feels at home and senses an agreement among the congregation for his message.


Such was, I think, Paul’s experience in writing the book of Philippians.[1] Here we are reminded that, though Paul had a genuine connection with the church at Philippi, it had not been an easy ministry there. He moved then to Thessalonica where Paul’s testimony was that he preached with boldness and much contention.


  • Preaching there was a labor, a struggle.
  • Preaching there incited anger among his hearers.
  • Preaching there was not associated with great liberty but
  • Preaching there did produce great results.


The greatest opportunities for the gospel are not in those places of the greatest ease and liberty. Paul said of Ephesus that a great and effectual door had been opened to him in there and that there were many adversaries. He did not say “but” there are many adversaries.


I believe that the kind preaching that will change the world will most often be of that sort.

[1] I recognize this was a letter and not a sermon.


For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.


effective preaching