The parable of the Sower: 4:1-20.
(Read: Mark 4:1-20)
Jesus used parables to illustrate spiritual truth. Parables are earthly stories with heavenly messages. It was designed to reveal the secrets of the kingdom of God to believers but unbelievers found them hard to understand (4:1; Isaiah 6:9-10). The parables reveal insights about the new life in Christ. To know more about this parable read note on Matthew 13:1-17. Jesus explained parables to his disciples (Mark 4: 13-20). The wayside represents hardened heart that rejects the gospel. Stony ground shows the faith base on emotion that lacks depth. When adversity comes, their faith is destroyed. The thorny ground represents those who accept the gospel. But the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches make them unfruitful. The good ground represents the prepared hearts that accept the gospel producing a huge harvest. Our understanding of the gospel is the result of God’s gracious revelation to us. Those who respond to the gospel become fruitful in life. The Gospel is to be preached so that people might believe and obey Christ (Rom 16:26). Faith precedes proofs, not vice versa. People are won through the foolishness of preaching and not by scientific facts.
The Parable of Mustard Seed: 4:21-34.
Jesus encourages his disciples to trust that his purposes will be accomplished in the end. He said, “A lamp is not to be placed under a basket or under a bed but on lamp-stand, where its light will shine”. Jesus reassures that the truth will be revealed to anyone who is willing to listen. To those who are open to Jesus’ teaching, more will be given. But those who are not listening, even what they have, will be taken away. The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. Though this seed is small, it will grow and become one of the largest of plants where birds come and find shelter. Initially the growth of the kingdom appears unimpressive but its influence will increase. Jesus said to his disciples “Let us go to the other side of the lake”. But soon a fierce storm arose and the boat was nearly full of water. Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat. Disciples shouted “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are perishing?” Jesus rebuked the wind. Suddenly the wind stopped and there was great calm. He said to them “Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?” The disciples were filled with awe and said among themselves “Who is this man that even the wind and waves obey him?” Jesus continues to display his power over the entire creation. He controls the laws and forces of the nature. Only he has the power to deliver and save the brokenness of this world. Jesus ;knows our problems and able to help us in our needs. Not even a sparrow can fall to the ground without his knowledge. He will answer our prayers. He promised to delivers us from all our fears (Psalms 34:4). God is the present help in our troubles. Jesus will finish the work he has begun in our lives (Phil 1:6). Although we are not promised smooth sailing, God has promised a safe passage. Pray for someone who needs a healing touch of God and restoration in life.