Summary: The seed: The word of God The sower: Anyone who shares the word of God


Mark 4:1-20

The seed: The word of God

1 Peter 1:23; Romans 1:16

The sower: Anyone who shares the word of God

1 Corinthians 1:23-24

The focus of this parable is on the soil

There is a direct correlation between the condition of the soil and the growth of the seed.

What is the condition of your heart?

Just as all soils are not the same and all hearts are not the same. When it comes to the word of God, some hearts are more receptive than others.

Four kinds of hearts:

The hard heart v. 4, 15

The deceived heart. Vv.5-6, 16-17

The distracted heart. vv.7, 18-19

The soft heart. vv.8, 20

Which soil are you?

Which soil do you desire to be?

July 20, 1992 1999/2000 cardiac event; artery at back of heart 40% blocked

Each of us has a physical heart: blocked, clogged, clear.

But in the Parable we are going to study today, Jesus shows His concern for the condition of our spiritual heart.

Turn to Mark 4:1-20 Continue our series…pictures of the kingdom of God; kingdom of heaven. Today, known as parable of the sower. That’s probably not an appropriate title. Why? Let’s dig into the text. Read Mark 4:1-20 ( on screen)

v. 1 boat by the shore…no doubt the northern shore; not too many places it could be; when you go to Israel w/me next spring, you’ll see so much of Jesus’ ministry right there within a couple of miles: feeding of the 5000, healings, exorcisms, this & other parables told

v.9 ears to hear Jesus used this phrase many times. What does it mean? You know there are at least 2 kinds of hearing: one where you hear the sound waves. The other you hear with the intent to respond. You can tell your student to clean up her room, she can hear you say it, but that doesn’t mean she’ll respond, right? She doesn’t have ears to hear.

vv.11-12 turn back and be forgiven Jesus is quoting the prophet Isaiah here who was prophesying the fall of Jerusalem because the religious leaders and the people had hardened their hearts against God. He had warned and warned and now, it was time for judgement. These 2 verses Jesus speaks not aimed at the general populace; they’re aimed at the Pharisees who had refused to listen to Jesus and believe Jesus and committed blasphemy by rejecting Him. Jesus is pronouncing their doom by using the language of Isaiah.

So let’s see if we can discern the purpose of this parable. Remember, a parable has one main teaching; one main purpose for being told.

What are the physical elements in the story?

The seed: what’s that? The word of God

“Because you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel,,ab because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

The sower: who’s that? Anyone who shares the word of God

“But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. 24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:23-24. The word preach in the Greek is kerusso; means simply to proclaim. That’s you. That’s me.

But now I want you to notice that the focus is not on the seed. The focus is not on the sower. Both are critical, obviously. The focus of this parable is on the soil

I’m not much a a gardener. I hate yard work as a matter of fact. Where we live,in Wimbledon, we have a hard time growing grass for two reasons. One is because of all the trees. There is never a time in the day when sun fully hits any part of our yard because of our trees and our neighbors trees. The other reason is because of the soil. It’s clay. It’s hard. A few years ago I thought I’d get someone to come in ane lightly spread some new dirt on the grass so that it would promote growth. But the guy came in and put too much dirt on it and killed all the grass. He kept saying the grass would grow through it. I’d point to it: “ It’s been 4 weeks and it’s not growing.” By this time the growing season was over. We went all fall and winter with a totally brown yard!

My point is: There is a direct correlation between the condition of the soil and the growth of the seed. In this parable, the soil is representative of our hearts.

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