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Summary: In one of the most important parables of the Book of Mark, Jesus teaches us to do three things with the Word of God: to hear it, accept it, and reproduce from it. The challenge for us is ... Are we obeying or disobeying this critical command?

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Kingdom Seeds

Mark 4:1-20

Introduction

- Pray for Rod: doing well, needs to rest and recover from fusion surgery

- Jesus is demonstrated in this book as a “servant”

-- He is the ultimate servant; giving Himself clearly for all who will receive

-- Key verse: Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

- Jesus is the ultimate example of servitude and something we must learn

-- If we are to truly experience Christ’s life, we must be willing to live like Him

- Today we see Jesus teaching again in the form of a critical parable

-- His method is straight forward; prayerfully we will not miss the application

- Read Mark 4:1-20

∆ Point 1 – Kingdom Seeds (1-9)

- Parables, parables, parables!

-- These are short stories meant to convey a message; in this case very imp msg

-- Jesus sets the stage for all other parables by again discussing the Kingdom

-- Mark 1:15, “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

- In traditional format, teachers would sit when they teach

-- This was to allow them to be able to teach comfortably, period

-- There is no great wisdom in this, but what is taught is the focus

-- Thought: Sometimes moving around gets distracting …

- A parable is a truth that provides additional information for us

-- Jesus often teaches in parables, short stories, to emphasize God’s truth

- v3 is a command: “Listen” It sets the stage for the remaining parables

-- Jesus is being very clear and direct in His teaching for all who hear to learn

-- Parables allow us to consider: “Where do I fit into this?”

-- Or, even more to the matter: “What do I need to change in my life?”

- Farming would have been a common career during this time

-- Chances are most than 75% of this crowd would have farmed something

-- Therefore, Jesus’ teaching speaks right to something they identify with

-- Everyone know that sowing seeds by hand means that seed gets scattered

-- On the path, on the rocks, and in the weeds the results are the same (v4-7)

- v8 shows us what happens when good seed lands on good soil

-- The Kingdom of God is represented in the same manner

-- Consider the evangelism that happens today; is the Kingdom not increasing?

-- Consider discipleship happening (here right now); are lives not being changed?

-- APP: Jesus’ teaching that sowing reaps a plentiful harvest!

- Re-read v9 … where have we heard this before? Revelation 2 and 3!

-- Jesus, using the same words He will use at the end of time, speaks very plainly

-- “You who are listening, pay attention and take note of how God increases …”

- Curious is that every parable could have this phrase, but it doesn’t

-- It is not an accidental omission, but one that sets this one apart from others

-- Jesus is saying, “This is how the Kingdom grows … go and do it!”

-- Think: “How does this apply to me … what kind of soil am I?”

- TRANS: Thankfully, Jesus takes time to further explain this one (IT’S IMP!)

∆ Point 2 – What’s it Mean? (10-20)

- I love this. It shows the simplicity of asking God for help in understanding

-- When the disciples got Him alone … (v10) …

-- Implies that they spent time alone; they literally did life together

-- It wasn’t all about “we hang out at church functions only”

-- APP: If all we know about each other is here we are missing opportunities

- Jesus teaches them that there is more going on here than simple teaching

-- Jesus chooses these men to hear more, and by the way, we get to benefit here

-- APP: It is an opportunity to listen in, to take notes, to be changed by Him

-- We are chosen by God to hear more than the surface teaching of this parable

- v12 Jesus is describing those who just “don’t get it” and may never understand

-- This is directed at the religious, the Pharisees, those who’ve missed God

-- IMP: It applies to those today, 2014, who think they’ve got God “figured out”

- Mark Barbieri writes, “The parables themselves became judgmental, for although the instruction was parabolic the truth had been communicated.”

-- MEANING: Those who heard it, rejected it … even though the truth was taught

- Parables appear to the reader really as spiritual tests; a chance to gauge yourself

-- They hide the truth from those who don’t seek it

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