Mark 4:13-20 – Jesus Explains the Parable of the Sower

Christian MölkMark Leave a Comment

Mark 4:14

  1. The key to understanding this parable is that the seed is the “word”.
    1. If you think that the seed represents “money”, “church activities” or “good deeds”, then you are misunderstanding the parable.
    1. One is not saved by doing good deeds but by hearing God’s word, the Bible, explained. When God’s word takes root in good soil in a person, it grows and bears fruit.
  2. The sower is a person who tells the good news about Jesus and the kingdom of God to someone else.
  3. Jesus’ use of grain as a parable for the message shows that it is not the preacher’s task to make the message grow in a person’s heart. The preacher’s task is only to “sow”, that is, to “tell”. The growth itself is up to God to arrange.
  4. A farmer of today would probably not throw the grain into the bad soil if he knew it was bad soil. But in the Middle East 2000 years ago, people ploughed after they had sown the seed, not before, as they do today. So the sower didn’t always know where the good soil was.
  5. The sower did not only throw the seed into the good soil, but also into the less good soil so that everyone would have a chance.

Mark 4:15

  1. These people hear the message of Jesus, but it never gets to the heart before Satan picks it up.
  2. A person’s heart can be so hard that they are completely uninterested in hearing about Jesus. In such a situation, it might be better to first try to soften the heart instead.

Mark 4:16

  1. These people hear the message of Jesus and immediately want to become followers of Jesus!
    1. But because they don’t get the message in depth, they will soon tire of the message of Jesus.
    1. The message of Jesus is a happy one, but it can also lead to difficulties, and if we have only listened to the positive without having anticipated the difficulties, the happy message can quickly turn into a message that is too difficult.
    1. Even for those who have deeply received the message of Jesus, the discipleship of Jesus can become so difficult and burdensome that they think about giving up. Jesus’ discipleship is sometimes about staying with Jesus even if you don’t understand and even if it is difficult and hard (John 6:66-69).

Mark 4:18

  1. These people hear the message of Jesus and want to become Christians.
    1. But as soon as something else interesting comes up; you might have a child, a partner or a new job, it immediately becomes more important than faith in Jesus.

Mark 4:20

  1. When the seed ends up where it should, in the good soil, something happens!
    1. If a person has received the word deep in his heart, it will bear fruit.
    1. Jesus says on another occasion that, just as you can tell what kind of tree it is by its fruit, you can tell whose disciple you are by looking at a person’s deeds (Matt 7:20).
    1. Paul lists a number of good spiritual fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).
    1. Good fruit doesn’t come by trying to force it on yourself, it grows naturally the more you get to know Jesus.
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