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Bible Commentaries
Mark 4

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

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Jesus Taught In Parables

Mark Four

Jesus was the master teacher. He often used parables to explain His simple truths. Mark chapter four is very much like Matthew 13. Large crowds were attracted to Jesus. Some came hoping for a miracle. Others came to hear His powerful teaching. The crowds were now so large that Jesus got into a boat and taught them. One of Jesus parables was that of the seed and the sower.

The seed was sown in different soils and of course the result was very different. Jesus taught in parables so that those that were interested could learn about forgiveness and salvation. When Jesus was alone with the twelve He explained that the seed was the word of God. He said that it fell into different kinds of soils and brought forth different results. His message was simple and should have been accepted by all that heard.

After both giving and explaining the parable of the seed and the sower Jesus gave other parables. He used a candle and other seed to make known His truth. Our Lord was amazing both in teaching and in action. He could sleep in a boat on the sea during a storm and He could even still the storm and bring about a great calm. What a mighty God we serve!

Verses 1-12

The parable of the seed given Mar_4:1-12 : Jesus again taught by the Sea of Galilee. A very large crowd gathered He sat in a boat out on the lake and taught. He taught many things in parables. A parable was taking something that had happened or could happen and teaching a spiritual lesson with that story. One parable was that of a sower that went out to sow his seed. The seed sown had different results.

Some of the seed fell along the road and was eaten by birds. There was some rocky ground and some of the seed feel there. The soil was not deep and so when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and died. Other seed fell among thorns that choked it and it produced no grain. There was some of the seed that feel in good soil and it grew and produced. The seed yielded thirty-fold and sixty-fold and hundred-fold. Jesus repeated the statement "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

The apostles did not understand the parable so they asked the Lord for an explanation. We must all do our best to make sure that we understand the Lord's teachings also. Jesus told His apostles, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables." These people were unwilling to grasp heaven's truths because many of these truths would condemn their sinful way of living.

Verses 13-20

The parable of the seed explained Mar_4:13-20 : Jesus told the apostles that this was a simple parable. If they could not understand this one, they would certainly not understand other parables. He said the seed that was sown was the word of God. The seed fell into different kinds of hearts. The seed that fell along the road was those people that heard the word and Satan came and snatched it quickly out of their hearts. The seed that fell on rocky ground represented those people that with joy received the word but never developed spiritual depth. When life got heard they gave up the faith.

Some seed fell among thorns. These people heard the word of God. Sadly, "the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choked the word, and it becometh unfruitful." They never produced any fruit for God. There were some seed that produced fruit. They fell on good ground and they produced thirty-fold and sixty-fold and even a hundred-fold. These people had good and honest hearts and did their best in serving God faithfully.

Verses 21-34

Jesus spoke about candles and seed Mar_4:21-34 : Often we act much more foolish in our spiritual lives than we would ever consider doing in our physical lives. Men would never light a candle to produce light for the house and then cover it with something. However we may allow some foolish conduct to cover our spiritual light and destroy our influence for good. Let us remember that there is coming a day when every secret thing will come to light.

Again the Lord repeated, "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." An additional admonition is also given concerning our hearing. Our attitude in hearing is important so the Bible says, "Take heed therefore how ye hear..." ( Luk_8:18 ) But here the Lord said, "Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you." Listen carefully to what you hear. Pay careful attention to what is said.

The Lord again used seed to help explain the kingdom. He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground." He may not understand how the seed grows in the ground but it does. Jesus wanted us to understand that what we do becomes an influence that continues to live and act whether we are aware of it or not. With faith and patience let us serve and await God's judgment.

To gain their attention Jesus asked, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?" He said, "It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, But once it is planted, it grows larger than any garden plant. It even puts out branches that are big enough for birds to nest in its shade." From a very small beginning the kingdom would become strong and from small begin-nings the knowledge that people have of God and their relationship with him can grow strong.

Verses 35-41

Jesus calmed the storm Mar_4:35-41 : Jesus did many powerful things to prove that He is Lord of all. On this night they and some other little boats were crossing the sea. The Bible says, "He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow." A horrible storm came upon them as Jesus slept in the boat. As the waves splashed in the boat was about to sink.

His disciples awoke Him saying, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" Jesus commanded the winds to cease and there was a great calm. Jesus explained to them that they should have faith and not fear. The disciples feared or were filled with amazement saying, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

We serve a mighty Lord that "Even the wind and the waves obey him!" When our lives are being tossed by the storms of the world we can find peace and calm in the Lord.

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Mark 4". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/mark-4.html. 2014.
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