Summary: Jesus told parables to describe what God's kingdom is like, to advise how to become a part of it, then grow and develop in such a way that others might be led by example into His kingdom
GOOD NEWS PRESENTED BY MARK
Study of the Gospel According to Mark
As you read Mark, be aware that you are reading the very first written account of the ministry of Jesus – a fact well documented by credible Bible scholars. Quite naturally, we want to know who Mark was, and we find that he is mentioned frequently in the New Testament.
What we know about him is that he was the son of a very well-to-do woman in Jerusalem; her name was Mary, and her home became the center of early church get-togethers. So, you can imagine that Mark was there when Jesus’ closest followers came to his mother’s house for a “church council” meeting. Peter the chief elder referred to Mark affectionately as “my son.”
Mark was also the nephew of Barnabas who talked Paul into letting the youngster go with them on one of their missionary journeys - which, you may recall, resulted in Mark’s falling out of favor with Paul by leaving and going back home. However, it’s interesting to note that, years later, when Paul was in prison, facing execution, he asked Timothy to bring Mark with him, “for he is a most useful servant to me.”
I suppose Paul saw in this young man a Christian who had the ability to write; and, apparently having redeemed himself, he could now be counted on to carry out Paul’s wishes. This explanation is plausible because Mark had served as Peter’s scribe and, as such, had written much of what Peter related to him about his eye witness account of the ministry of Jesus.
MARK SERMON III – MARK 4:14-29 . . .
GETTING FROM “HERE” TO “THERE” BY HEEDING SOUND ADVICE
As I walked from my car toward the entrance to a store, a gentleman approached me and asked, “Can you tell me where I am?”
My response was: “Now that’s a good question; it’s one of the basic philosophical questions of life: who am I . . . where am I . . . why am I here . . . where am I going”?
“Why do you need to know where you are?” “A friend of mine is supposed to meet me, and I need to tell her where to come to.” “Where will your friend be coming from?” “She’ll be coming from Riverdale.”
I thought about it for a moment and said, “It won’t be easy to explain to her how to get here from there.” Then he added a bit more information: “I was supposed to call her when I got to Southlake Mall.” “She knows how to get to Southlake Mall.” “Well, then, that’s easy. I’ll tell you how to get to the mall, and you can call her from there.”
As we come to the close of the old year and start a new year, we need to take stock of where we are - spiritually . . . give some thought to where we need to be . . . follow directions on how to get there.
The parables of Jesus were intended to point us in the right direction in order to become the person God wants us to be. In one of His parables, Jesus teaches us that the best way to get where we need to be is to hear and heed the Word that has been sown in our hearts and minds - Mark 4:14-20 . . .
Like the seed that fell by the side of the road onto hardened soil, but had no chance to take root, there are people who hear about the gospel truth but never let it take root because they reject it.
In the minds of some of these folks, there is no God. Others of them believe there is a God but refuse to accept Jesus as the promised Messiah. Therefore, the Truth can find no entry into their hearts - due to indifference.
The tragedy of it is that by the time such folks realize their need of a Savior their hearts have hardened to the extent that there is no receptivity to spiritual truth. Thus, they fall by the wayside.
Like the seed that fell on a thin layer of soil – the kind that forms over sheets of limestone rock in Israel - there are countless numbers of folks who may be attracted to Christianity but never let it get beyond the surface of their lives. The least little thing can “blow them away”.
Like the seed that fell on thorny soil – where bad weeds take root alongside good seed so that the roots of the weeds intertwine with the roots of the seeds and thereby choke the life out of the new plant - there are those who commit their lives to Christ but get so caught up and entangled with “the things of the world” that they have no time for “the things of God”.