Mark 4 [KJV]
The Parable of the Sower1And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2aAnd he taught them many things by parables,
Q1. The last time we were together, we discussed "parables". What is a parable?
Q2. Why did Jesus speak to the multitude from a ship?
2band said unto them in his doctrine, 3Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
Q3. Who is the "farmer"?
Q4. What is the "seed"?
4And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Q5. What are the characteristics of a "path"?
Q6. What might "birds" represent?
5And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Q7. From this passage, what are the characteristics of "rocky places"? What is the condition of the "soil"?
7And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Q8. What might "thorns" represent?
Q9. What is the condition of the soil?
Q10. Is it important that a plant bears "fruit" (or grain)?
8And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
Q11. How would you describe "good soil"?
9And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Q12. What did Jesus mean by this admonition?
Jesus explains the Parable of the Sower10And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11aAnd he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God:
Q13. What did Jesus mean by the "mystery of the Kingdom of God"?
11bbut unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
NOTE: Jesus quoted Isaiah 9.9&10, which was written about 700 years before His birth.
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (9) And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. (10) Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Q14. Is it fair that Jesus spoke in parables?
Q15. If you and I lived in the time of Jesus' ministry and we not a part of Jesus' inner circle of disciples, did we have a prayer of understanding Jesus' teachings?
Q16. If I were Jesus, wouldn't I want people to turn to me and repent, so that I could forgive them?
13And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
Q17. To whom was Jesus speaking?
Q18. Does He sound frustrated?
14The sower soweth the word.
Q19. What does the "word" represent?
Q20. Who is the "sower" (or farmer)?
15And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Q21. Why does Satan(or the bird) snatch it away? Do we have any protection against Satan?
16And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
Q22. How does a person develop "root"?
Q23. Why would "affliction or persecution" come upon a person because of the Word?
Q24. Why would a person then "quickly fall away" or they're offended?
18And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Q25. How can the "Word" be made "unfruitful"?
20And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Q26. What does Jesus mean by seed "sown on good ground"?
Q27. How can there be such a deviation in a plant, so that different plants can produce 30, 60, or 100 times? Is that what Jesus meant?
Q28. What kind of "soil" are you?
Q29. How do you know?
Q30. How can you become more fertile "soil"?
A Lamp on a Stand21And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
Q31. A lamp gives light. Is there significance to our Lord's reference to light?
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." [NIV]
John 1:4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (5) The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (6) There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John [the Baptist]. (7) He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. (8) He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. (9) The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. [NIV]
22For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.
Q32. What does Jesus reference? What is hidden? What is "kept secret"?
Q33. If we want something hidden, we certainly do not want it "out in the open," (or manifested) do we?
23If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
Q34. What does Jesus mean? Hear what?
24And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
Q35. Okay. We have considered carefully what we have heard (read). What does "it shall be measured to you" mean to you?
Q36. What does this phrase mean,"unto you that hear shall more be given"?
25For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
Q37. If you have more, more will be given to you. What does "more" represent?
Q38. If someone doesn't have something (or very little), something will be taken from them. What will be taken from them?
Q39. Do you have something? Do you have more?
The Parable of the Growing Seed26And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
Q40. From a previous session we talked about another one of Jesus' parables. To what does "seed" refer?
27And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
Q41. What does "earth" (or soil) represent?
Q42. What does "fruit" (or grain or an ear of corn) represent?
Q43. In this parable, what does "harvest" represent? Is this a good thing?
Q44. Can we participate in a "harvest"?
The Parable of the Mustard Seed30And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
Q45. What is the subject of Jesus' teaching?
31It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
Q46. These parables seem to all talk about "seed". When God has thoughts repeated in the Bible, we are to see the emphasis. Is "seed" important? Why?
Q47. In a past parable, "fowls of the air" (or birds) that swooped down and ate the "seed" represented evil. Are the "fowls of the air" from this parable evil?
Q48. Why might Jesus have used a parable about a "mustard seed"?
33And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. 34But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
NOTE: From these verses, it can be assumed that much of Jesus' teachings were not recorded. How awesome it would have been to listen to Jesus' teachings... to sit at His feet and hear Him teach! Wow!
Jesus Calms the Storm35And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
Q49. Was Jesus tired?
Q50. What was the vocation of five of the disciples?
Q51. Do you think the disciples were frightened?
39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Q52. How would you have reacted to this miracle?
40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Q53. Jesus asked, "Do you still have no faith?" In whom should the disciples have "faith"?
Q54. Is this a promise we can use in our world, today? Could our troubles be similar to a "furious squall"?
41And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
Q55. Who is this Jesus?
Q56. Is Jesus someone we can call upon in our times of trouble?
Q57. Can we trust this person?
Q58. If we do not seem to get an answer to our beseeching request, does that prove that Jesus does not care about us?