Mark – Chapter 4

Parable of the Soils

Verse 1 – And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.

Verse 2 – Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching.

Parables have one main point and that point is usually hidden from those who are too stubborn to recognized it.

Verse 3 – “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.

When Jesus says, “Listen,” He wants them to comprehend what He is about to say. When a sower went out, he did not stay in a confined place, he “went out” and scattered seed by throwing it from a sack that was on his shoulder.

Verse 4 – “And it happened, as he sowed, that some fell by the wayside; and the bird of the air came and devoured it.

Many will hear the Word of God, but it will fall on deaf ears.

Verse 5 – “Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.

This word fell on those with a hard-heart. They have no intention of hearing anything about Jesus.

Verse 6 – “But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.

Verse 7 – “And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it; and it yielded no crop.

Carnal thinking, making choices through the flesh, emotions.

Verse 8 – “But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

Those who are eager to hear; they receive the word with joy; they are watered and nourished by the Holy Spirit. When its time for harvest, some will reap 30, 60, or a 100 fold.

There are four kinds of soil – hearts. The first seed did not spring up at all; the second sprang up quickly, but soon withered away; the third sprang up and grew, but yielded no fruit; and the third, sprang up and yielded a multiplication of what it started with.

Verse  9 – And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” There is a deeper kind of listening and its with the mind and heart. There is a spiritual understanding that will come to our minds when we are susceptible and ready to receive what the Spirit has to say.

Verse 10 – But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable.

Verse 11 – And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,

Verse 12 – “So that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.’ ”

At the beginning of Jesus ministry, He didn’t teach by parables. He continued for some time being direct and understandable, but after a while, He was met with scorn, unbelief, and hardness. Therefore, He began to teach in parables. The ones which had a receptive heart, received understanding.

Verse 13 – And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?

Jesus told them that whoever did not understand this simple parable would not understand any of the other parables.

Some people don’t want to listen to God’s truth, therefore, there will be no understanding. God will reveal truth to those who are willing to make His Word active in their lives. To those who have understanding, more will be given!

Verse 14 – “The sower sows the word.

Verse 15 – “And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. And when they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

He will whisper that the word is not truth and soon they will forget it, because they didn’t meditate on it and take it deeper.

Verse 16 – “These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

Verse 17 – “and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake immediately stumble.

These didn’t make a steady meal of God’s words or pray and study. They never fed their spirit. Their foundation was not built on solid ground. They never applied what they learned.

Verse 18 – “Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,

Verse 19 – “and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires, for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

These have misplaced priorities. They want what they want and go after that. Something always takes first place, other than the kingdom of God. These people basically live unto themselves.

Verse 20 – “But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

These are those who hear God’s Word and are transformed; become disciples and spread the Gospel, making other disciples. The results are not always the same amount, but yet there are good results. They follow Jesus no matter what testing or trials come their way.

Parable of the Lamp

Verse 21 – And He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?

As a Christian, our lives are to be a light to others, showing the way to Jesus. Complacency, resentment, stubbornness of heart, or disobedience, could snuff out a person’s lamp.

Verse 22 – “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.

What Jesus was telling His disciples now in secret, will be revealed and spread by the disciples throughout the darkness of the world.

Verse 23 – “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Verse 24 – And 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.

Not everyone understands on the same level. Whatever level of understanding you are able to comprehend, more understanding will be given. It really is up to us how hard we try, the effort is on us.

Verse 25 – “For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

Plain and simple – as we continually seek God and learn of Him through the Scriptures, revelations are revealed to us, little by little. Our best source of teaching is through the Holy Spirit and a Spirit filled church where the pastor studies and knows the Word of God.

Parable of the Growing Seed

Verse 26 – And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground,

Verse 27 – “And should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.

This parable is only in Mark and is referring to spiritual growth.

Verse 28 – “For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.

There is a law of orderly development in natural growth, so also is it in reference to spiritual growth. For instance: As new Christians, we start with the basics and build a solid foundation, and as we continue to grow and our hearts and mind changes towards the things that is written we become more and more obedient to the word – mature.

Verse 29 – “But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

We are to continue to grow spiritually as Christians. There is never a time when we stop studying; stop praying; stop believing; or stop depending on God. We are to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and to help those in need, continually until the full harvest – Christ’s return.

Parable of the Mustard Seed

Verse 30 – And He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?

Verse 31 – “It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground is smaller than all the seeds on earth;

Verse 32 – “but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”

The kingdom of God is like a tiny mustard seed when it began, but as the Gospel of Jesus spread throughout the world and the ages, it has grown larger than all the religions on the earth.

Verse 33 – And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it.

Verse 34 – But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

Jesus didn’t speak parables to keep some in the dark or so that they wouldn’t understand intentionally, but to challenge them to seek understanding.

The Sea Is Stilled

Verse 35 – On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”

Verse 36 – Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him alone in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.

Verse 37 – And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.

Verse 38 – But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

The lake of Gennesaret lies 600 feet lower than the sea and is surrounded by mountain gorges, which act like gigantic funnels to draw down the cold winds from the mountains. These winds are not only violent, but they come down suddenly and often when the sky is perfectly clear. And Jesus slept. You only sleep through a storm when you know the Master who controls it!

Verse 39 – Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Verse 40 – But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

Verse 41 – And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

I don’t fault the disciples for being terrified, even though they had seen miracle after miracle. We have to remember, their exposure to Jesus was their only world. It wasn’t like today where we have access to knowledge at our fingertips. They were from all walks of life and hadn’t been devoted to scripture. So they only knew what Jesus taught them, and I’m sure it took a little while to process what all they had seen so quickly. We shouldn’t be too hard on new Christian either when they don’t understand things as quickly as maybe you got it.








This entry was posted in Mark.

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