Summary: The parable of the soils reveals our duty in Christ is to sow the seed of the word of God.

Sermon Brief

Date Written: July 23, 2008

Date Preached: July 9, 2008

Where Preached: OPBC (Wed PM)

Sermon Details:

Sermon Series: A Study of the Parables

Sermon Title: The Parable of the Soils

Sermon Text: Mark 4:1-20


1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. 2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: 3 Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 and it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.

7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.¨ 9 And He said to them, He who has ears to hear, let him hear!¨

v. 1-2 are setting the scene for what is happening here. First we can see that it was Jesus’ desire to teach the people, but that it was a large crowd so large a crowd that Jesus had to get some perspective and the crowd had to be able to hear him. Jesus uses a boat as a platform and goes out a little ways from the shore so that all could see him.

We also learn that not only did Jesus choose the format from which to speak, but Jesus chose the format in which to teach we find in v.2 that Jesus spoke to this group thru the use of parables or teaching stories!

Remember, we learned that the English word parable is derived from the Greek word ‘parabolay’ which means to cast along side of or to compare with or to

v. 3 Jesus begins His teaching, with a command to listen, which carries with it what we may better understand as “Pay attention!” why do we say pay attention to those we may not think are listening? We say that because it lets who we are speaking with know how important it is that they hear and understand what we are about to say! Jesus knew how important this was and He wanted those He was teaching to understand its importance as well!

v. 3 Behold a sower went out to sow! Here Jesus sets the parable to a setting where most, if not all, of those there listening would understand and comprehend. Many of these people were farmers and lived off the land and Jesus spoke this parable to them in this manner so that they could comprehend what He was saying about the kingdom of God.

v. 4 = 1st example of sowing seed - seed is sown on the well worn path ‘the wayside’ which could represent a path that leads to the garden plot or a parcel OUTSIDE of the garden spot where the soil had not been prepared. Either way we can see that the soil is NOT prepared to accept the seed and the seed is quickly eaten by birds.

v. 5-6 = 2nd example of sowing seed - seed is sown on the stony ground. More than likely this was the shallow stony exterior boundaries of the garden plot where the soil and stones were meeting. It was possibly on the shallow edge of the garden where the ground was disturbed but not properly prepared for seed the seed could take root in this soil, but because of the lack of preparation, the root could not survive and thus the plant would die!

v. 7 = 3rd example of sowing seed - seed is sown on thorny ground. More than likely the soil had been prepared but the owner of the plot has not cleared all the weeds and thorns this may have been just inside the slightly disturbed stony ground where the soil had been tilled and prepared but the weeds had not been removed. This seed would take root and would sprout, but would be competing with the weeds and thorns for nourishment and sunlight and eventually the seedling would die off, choked out by the more mature weeds and thorns!

v.8 = 4th example of sowing seed - seed is sown on good ground and in the prepared and cleared soil the seed flourishes and matures and yields fruit. One seed can yield as much as 30, 60 or 100 actual fruit, depending on the plant, the soil, and the weather.

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