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Gospel of Mark

NT352 Fall 2016
The Parables, Part One
Mark 4:1-20

Jesus Teaches the Parable of 

the Sower 1-9
▪ Taught Again by the Sea v.1
▪ N.B. pattern of “Again he taught” by the sea
▪ Got into a boat – and sat down to teach

Jesus Teaches the Parable of 

the Sower 1-9
▪ He Taught in Parables 2-9
▪ Emphasis on the importance of his teaching but now in parables
▪ Parables - para (beside) ballo (throw) – common way of teaching
▪ He taught many parables but the “sower” was the choice of the Holy Spirit here
▪ Begins and ends with exhortation to listen!
▪ Check ourselves - do we have ears to hear?
▪ Sowing by hand not is not a precise execution so the seed falls on all sorts of terrain

Jesus Explains the Parable to
the Disciples 10-20
▪ When he was Alone they Asked v.v.10-12
▪ Interesting to note the wording – alone yet with others plus the twelve
▪ Why didn’t they ask while crowd around? Perhaps saving face or waited for quiet
▪ Mystery of kingdom—truth previously unknown, now made known by revelation

Jesus Explains the Parable to
the Disciples 10-20
▪ Various soils Explained v.v.13-20
▪ Hard soil - heart that's been open to everything but the word of God
▪ Rocky soil - shallow heart professing Jesus quickly but only in words
▪ Thorny soil – the “divided heart” – crowded by a second master
▪ Good soil—receives Word, has depth and roots, responds and grows in Christ

Gospel of Mark
NT352 Fall 2016
The Parables, Part One
Mark 4:1-20

Gospel of Mark
NT352 Fall 2016
The Parables, Part One
Mark 4:21-34

The Lamp 21-25
▪ The Purpose and Identity of the Lamp 21-23
▪ Lamps of this era looked different but had the same purpose
▪ The lamp is often associated with believers but Jesus refers to himself:

1.Jesus is the ultimate lamp that illumines all –the light of the world (Jn 8:12)
2.He is the lamp that the world tried to put out (darkness on the cross)
3.Mark uses the definite article in the Greek “THE LAMP” thus specifying ONE
4.The Greek is “The lamp does not come” – how can a lamp come?
▪ Illumination of what is hidden and “revelation” of secrets connect to v.12
▪ Nothing hidden but that it will be revealed (by THE LAMP that reveals)

A Hellenistic
terra-cotta lamp
dates to the
Maccabean era
(167–63 b.c.). Its
typical Greek
form, with a long
nozzle for the
wick and a broad
opening in the
cover to receive
the oil, indicates
it was probably
imported into
ancient Israel.

Terra-cotta oil
lamps from
Christ’s era.

The Lamp 21-25
▪ Revelation and Responsibility 24-25
▪ Pay attention = Take heed to what we hear /responsibility
▪ If we apply what we hear, God gives us more—opposite follows

The Kingdom 26-29
▪ Mystery of its Growth
▪ Agriculture is often analogy for God’s work = parable of sower
▪ Kingdom grows independent of man’s strength like seed does
▪ The “word” is compared to seed again = we receive it and sow it
▪ Process of the kingdom is a gradual growth and maturity

The Mustard Seed 30-34
▪ Quantity of its Growth
▪ Mustard seed is extremely tiny – how small was the kingdom?
▪ Other disciples at Pentecost were instrumental (Acts 1:15; 2:1)
▪ Mark distinguishes Jesus speaking and explaining v.33-34
▪ The critics’ problem with the mustard seed as the smallest?

MUSTARD
SEEDS

MUSTARD
PLANTS

Gospel of Mark
NT352 Fall 2016
The Parables, Part One
Mark 4:21-34