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Parables of Growth (Mark 4)

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The Sower Parable 

Satan Takes Away The Word Mark 4:15




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Mark 4

The parable of the sower
And again he began to teach by the sea side. There gathered to him a very great crowd, so he entered into a boat and sat in the sea, and all the crowd were gathered along the shore. 2 And he taught them many things in parables, and said to them in his teaching:
   3 Listen! Behold, the sower went forth to sow. 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside and the birds came and devoured it. 5 And other fell on the rocky ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 And other fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 And others fell into the good ground and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing; and brought forth, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. 9 And he said: Who has ears to hear, let him hear.
   10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them: To you is given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those that are without, all things are done in parables- 12 that seeing, they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn again and it should be forgiven them.
   13 And he said to them: Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower, sows the word. 15 And these by the way side, where the word is sown, represent those who, when they have heard, have Satan immediately come and take away the word which has been sown in them. 16 And these in like manner are they that are sown upon the rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root in themselves and only endure for a while. Then, when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they stumble. 18 Others are represented by those that are sown among the thorns. These are they that have heard the word, 19 and the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word and it becomes unfruitful. 20 And these are they that were sown upon the good ground: such as hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.

The purpose of the parables
   21 And he said to them: Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a lamp stand? 22 For there is nothing hid, save that it should be manifested; neither was anything made secret but that it should come to light.
   23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. 24 And he said to them: Pay attention to what you hear. What measure you use shall be applied to you, and more shall be given to you. 25 For he that has, to him shall be given. And he that has not, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.
   26 And he said: So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed upon the earth. 27 He sleeps and rises, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he does not know how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest comes.
   30 And he said: To what shall we compare the kingdom of God? Or in what parable shall we set it forth? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the earth, 32 yet when it is sown, grows up and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches so that the birds of the sky can lodge under the shadow of it.
   33 And with many such parables he spoke the word to them, according as they were able to understand it. 34 Without a parable he did not speak to them, but in private he explained all things to his own disciples.

Jesus calms the storm
35 And on that day, when evening had come, he said to them: Let us go over to the other side of the lake. 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And there arose a great wind storm and the waves slammed into the boat, so much so that the boat was now filling. 38 And he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke him, and said to him: Teacher, do you not care that we perish? 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea: Peace! Be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 And he said to them: Why are you fearful? Do you still not have faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to each other: Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him!



4:10 Jesus revealed Himself to those who bothered to come to Him and enquire further (as in v. 34)- see on 3:13. Those with a merely passing interest in Him will not find Him.

4:14 The word of God is a seed- we are born again by it, it has the power of life within it (1 Pet. 1:23). The Bible is on one level black print on white paper; but it is so very much more, unique amongst literature to the point that it shouldn’t really be classified as ‘literature’ in the secular sense. God’s word gives life to people. It should be our meditation all the day as it was for David (Ps. 119:97).

4:19 Wealth is deceitful in that we think that money can buy all things; it can’t.

4:22 If throughout eternity we will be shown to be who we really are, it’s senseless to be hypocritical now.

4:24 The measure we apply to God’s word will have a recompense. If we pay little attention to it, we will be given little; if we give our mind and life to it, then we will receive an appropriately large recompense.

4:29 As soon as the harvest is ripe, it’s harvested. This could mean that once the body of Christ has matured to the level God expects, Jesus will return, and the harvest of judgment will begin.

4:33 Jesus spoke to people as they were able to hear it, not as He was able to expound to them. The fact we know more than some other people doesn’t mean we must tell them all we know. We should be sensitive to them and at times restrain our superior knowledge, because our end aim is their spiritual growth to the glory of God.