The parables of Jesus
- Jesus often usen parables. There are about forty-one parables total in the gospels, but Mark records five.
- A parable places one thing next to another with a view to comparison.
- Why teach in parables?
- Mark 4:11 – So Jesus could teach His disciples in private.
- What are they about?
- Generally, to teach what the kingdom “at hand” is like.
- How should we interpret them?
- Don’t look for lessons in every small detail.
- Let Jesus explain!
The kingdom is like a sower (Mark 4:1-20)
- Mark 4:15 – Compare Luke 8:11. The seed is the word of God. The wayside is people who hear the word, but don’t grow with any depth.
- Mark 4:16-17 – The rocky place – people who hear the word but will not endure persecution.
- Mark 4:18-19 – The thorns – people who hear, but the word of God is choked out by the cares of the world.
- Mark 4:20 – The good ground that bears fruit.
- The kind of heart determines the reception and relation to God’s word. We determine what type of heart we have!
Lamp under a bushel (Mark 4:21-25)
- Compare Matthew 10:27. We should proclaim God’s word! See also Acts 13:47.
- Be lights of God’s world. Teach and do God’s word!
The growing seed (Mark 4:26-27)
- Compare I Corinthians 3:6-9. We are laborers together with God. We plant and water, but God gives the increase in His own time.
- See Galatians 1:7. We have no right to cross-breed or modify the message. See also Romans 1:16; I Peter 2:5. God’s church is not for entertainment or a social club.
The kingdom is like a mustard seed (Mark 4:30-34)
- The kingdom, from a small beginning, grows to a place of strength and comfort for those therein. Remember the figure of the kingdom in Daniel 2.
The wicked vinedressers (Mark 12:1-12)
- See I Peter 2:8. Unlike other parables, the Jewish leaders immediately understood the parable and knew He was condemning them.