When a person reads a Bible passage, is it always immediately understood by them??
What do you think are reasons why some bible passages cannot be immediately understood??
Since the Bible was written by God the Holy Spirit and people are not God, there will be some difficulty in fully understanding what is stated!
Is there a solution??
A major barrier to not understanding the Bible of course is unbelief.
People must truly believe God speaking and allow the Holy Spirit help them understand the Bible! How do we see the Bible? Is the Bible just another book open to our own interpretations? The Bible speaks clearly and directly; we apply the godly principles given.
This is one of the lessons we will learn from Jesus this morning as we study the beginning of Mark chapter 4. Open your Bibles there and read along with me Mark 4:1-25; Jesus is now in full swing of His ministry…….
v1-2: Jesus’ ministry included teaching people in parables.
What is a parable? The word parable comes from the Greek (parabole), meaning "comparison, illustration, analogy”.
v3-8: Parable (illustration) of the farmer sowing seeds was told to everyone.
If we look at this parable of the farmer and the seeds, to whom it was told, and where and when it was told, there really wasn’t anything new that people at that time and place needed to learn. Jesus first spoke of the basics of farming! Then v9…..
And so, let us picture this: Jesus was in a boat talking to a large crowd and Jesus told them something the people already knew, farming basics. Now, what do you think the people listening to Jesus would have done after hearing something they already knew??
And so, what do you think God Jesus was trying to do with parables??
v10-12…. Gives us a hint of the use of parables.
Jesus used parables to connect with people but it was also a call to listen for more and follow God!
And so we can note that, In order to understand God’s Word, there needs to be a willingness to learn and believe!
Now look again at v13… at first glance it looks like a reprimand right? But then in v14-20, Jesus quickly explains the parable! If it was a reprimand, Jesus could have just said, “figure it out yourself!”
v13: Jesus challenged His followers and made sure they understood how foundational the message was!
And so, let us make sure we understand the explanation of the parable of the farmer and the seeds in v14-20:
The farmer could be God Himself or any person based on v21-22 (which we will look at more closely next week)
The farmer sows the word. What is the word??
Satan opposes the word.
God’s word is provided to all types of people:
- Stubborn, hard-hearted people never impacted with God’s Word
(sadly, these types of people do not realize that the demons love them)
- Receives God’s Word only temporarily but gives up when trouble comes
- Receives God’s Word but priority is self and the world which choke God’s impact
- Hears God’s Word, accept it, then allows it to grow in their lives to produce multiple good fruit!
We will look at the other parables in Mark 4 in the next few weeks; but we need to note that none of the following parables were given further explanations. Again, the parable of the farmer and the seed is foundational to the Kingdom of God here on earth AND again the importance of digging deeper into what God is trying to tell us is very important. Remember the acronyms I shared in the past? God does not like KIAs (know it alls), God loves FIAT people (faithful, inquisitive, available, and teachable). God will bless FIAT people!
And so, there are at least 2 questions we need to ask ourselves today:
1. Am I really willing to always learn and believe God’s Word?
Let’s all commit to picking a bible tonight and everyday and crave to learn from our Creator God! Let us see the Bible speaking to us loud and clear with God saying “I love you!! Please listen very carefully to what I am telling you”! If you don’t know where to start, let me suggest reading the letter to the Ephesians over and over again till you grasp every chapter lesson.
2. What type of person am I based on Mark 4:14-20?
Go through each type of soil and pray to know what you need to do.