Read Mark 4:1-22
1. Did you discover something new this time you read the chapter?
2. Look at Mark 4:1-9. This is the first real parable in the Gospel of Mark. It is the parable of the sower. The context of this parable is close to our own here in Kingstree so we do not need to wade through much context. Before this parable begins we see that Jesus was again teaching by the sea. Why do you think He did this? The crowd then got so big that He had to teach from a boat. This must have been a very very large crowd. And it is here where Jesus starts teaching in parables. Jesus starts out by uttering something I have to tell you guys when we get off track in the lesson at Adventure. He says “Listen!” Why do you think He does this? Now that He has their attention Jesus starts teaching. What do you think is the point of the parable? Who is the sower? What is the seed? What about the different places where the seed is sown?
3. Look at Mark 4:13-20. In this section of verses Jesus explains the first parable, the Sower. This is uncharacteristic of Jesus. You remember why? (eg. Mark 4:10-12). Yet Jesus still explains the parable. Jesus indirectly states that God is the sower and directly states that the Gospel is the seed. Why is Jesus the sower not us? Does this mean that we are not to spread God’s Word? What does it mean? It means that God, though His spirit is the one who works in us to spread the Gospel. It also means that no matter how hard we try to spread God’s Word it is only the Holy Spirit who can work in their hearts. We are just the vessels in which God does His great and mighty works. Jesus then explains further of how people hear the Gospel? What does He say about it? Which are the ways that people respond to the call of the Gospel to repent and believe? In verse 20 Jesus explains about seeds that are planted in good soil. What does he says will happen to those seeds? What do you think that means for you? It is talking about growing in your faith? What does that mean? How does one grow in their faith? Is this important for us to do? This is very important. For example, when a baby is born does it stay small, only easting liquids, never talking, always crying, and always crawling? Of course not. What do they do? How do they grow? Do they need to grow to survive? The same is true with our relationship with God. We must grow. God does not want us to stay in the infant stage of our faith He wants us to grow, “to bear fruit” meaning to show signs of growth. To demonstrate our knowledge of God and how he wants us to live by living Christ-like lives and spreading His Gospel of grace. He wants to grow and we do so by spreading time in God’s Word like you are doing now, learning who He is and what He has done, applying what you have learned to your life, growing in your relationship with Him so you can serve Him better.
4. Look at Mark 4:26-29. This is the third parable in this chapter and the second about seeds. Yet this parable is a lot more confusing that the first, yet not out of our understanding. Jesus first says what the overall topic of this parable is. What does He say? Jesus here is talking about how the Kingdom of God grows. Like in the last parable a person becoming a Christian is not the end but rather the beginning of a good relationship with God. In verse 27-28 Jesus says that the man sleeps and rises and the seed sprouts and grows and that it is the earth that grows the seed into a plant (specifically wheat). What is Jesus really talking about? Who is the one that grows the Christian? (See question #4). Why is it the Holy Spirit and not ourselves who makes us grow? Verse 29 gives us an attribute to the God, specifically the person of Holy Spirit. What do you think that attribute is? God knows all things, and the Holy Spirit is the one who lives in the soul of every Christian. He knows everything about you, for He is always with you, never leaving you he knows what you can handle, he knows when you are ready for growth. Like a farmer knowing when to plant and harvest. The Holy Spirit knows what you need and when you need it to aid in your growth as a Christian.
5. Look at Mark 4:30-32. This is the fourth parable in this chapter and the third about seeds. Why do you think Jesus used so many parables about farming? This is a parable that you should be somewhat familiar with, because it is taught on so much. This parable is all the growth of the Christian. How does Jesus describe the mustard seed? Why do you think he uses such a small seed to describe a new Christian? What does Jesus then say happens to the mustard seed? What does this mustard seed grow into? Why are birds able to now be on its branches? What does this mean about our growth as Christians? When we grow strong in our faith in Christ, when our relationship with God is strong, God gives us opportunities to help others. Specifically to help others in need, both physically and spiritually. How might a Christian who is strong in their faith be able to help others spiritually? How can you right now help others spiritually?
6. Do you have any questions about this chapter?