The Essential Jesus asRevealed in the Gospel of Mark
“Change is theonly constant in life!” Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 500 B.C.)
How popular? - 121 countries -29 languages - Found in 1/3 of all American homes1938 - “Criss-Crosswords”
Something else that never changes?Psalm 119:89Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it standsfirm in the heavens.
Sharpening Our Focus on Christ!Five passages each week to help us “fix our eyes upon Jesus!”
The Essential Jesus asRevealed in the Gospel of Mark
What is a “parable?”para (alongside of) and baleo (to throw) “To throw alongside of”
The purpose of parablesMark 4:10-11aAnd when he was alone, those around himwith the twelve asked him about theparables. And he said to them, “To you hasbeen given the secret of the kingdom ofGod . . .” “A truth . . .“mystery” once concealed to man, now revealed by God.”
The purpose of parablesMark 4:11b-12But for those outside everything is inparables, so that “they “may indeed seebut not perceive, and may indeed hearbut not understand, lest they should turnand be forgiven.”
Mark 4:1-20 - The Parable of the Sower - The Parable of the Seed - The Parable of the Soils
The Parable of the SoilsMark 4:1-2Again he began to teach beside the sea.And a very large crowd gathered abouthim, so that he got into a boat and sat init on the sea, and the whole crowd wasbeside the sea on the land. And he wasteaching them many things in parables,and in his teaching he said to them:
The Parable of the SoilsMark 4:3-4“Listen! Behold, a sower went out tosow. And as he sowed, some seed fellalong the path, and the birds came anddevoured it.”
The Parable of the SoilsMark 4:5-6Other seed fell on rocky ground, whereit did not have much soil, andimmediately it sprang up, since it had nodepth of soil. And when the sun rose, itwas scorched, and since it had no root, itwithered away.
The Parable of the SoilsMark 4:7Other seed fell among thorns, and thethorns grew up and choked it, and ityielded no grain.
The Parable of the SoilsMark 8-9And other seeds fell into good soil andproduced grain, growing up andincreasing and yielding thirtyfold andsixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And hesaid, “He who has ears to hear, let himhear.”
The Parable of the Soils Mark 4:3 “Listen!” Mark 4:9 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Parable of the SoilsHard soil Shallow Infested Good soil soil soil Seed Seed Seed Seedsnatched grows, crowded produces away withers; out bountiful no deep harvest roots
The Meaning of the ParableMark 4:14The sower sows the word.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, soshall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Responses of the heart tothe seed of God’s WordHard soil Shallow Infested Good soil soil soil Seed Seed Seed Seedsnatched grows, crowded produces away withers; out bountiful no deep harvest roots
The Hard Soil . . .Mark 4:15And these are the ones along the path,where the word is sown: when they hear,Satan immediately comes and takesaway the word that is sown in them. The hard heart which says, “Not interested! Not now, not ever!”
The Shallow Soil . . .Mark 4:16-17And these are the ones sown on rockyground: the ones who, when they hearthe word, immediately receive it withjoy. And they have no root in themselves,but endure for a while; then, whentribulation or persecution arises onaccount of the word, immediately theyfall away.
The Shallow Soil . . .The shallow heart which says,“Hallelujah! Uh, where’s the exit?”1 John 2:19They went out from us, but they werenot of us; for if they had been of us, theywould have continued with us. But theywent out, that it might become plainthat they all are not of us.
The Infested Soil . . .Mark 4:18-19And others are the ones sown amongthorns. They are those who hear theword, but the cares of the world and thedeceitfulness of riches and the desires forother things enter in and choke the word,and it proves unfruitful. The crowded heart which says, “Give me Jesus AND give me the world!”
The Infested Soil . . .Mathew 6:24“No one can serve two masters, for eitherhe will hate the one and love the other, orhe will be devoted to the one and despisethe other. You cannot serve Godand money.”
The Good Soil . . .Mark 4:20But those that were sown on the goodsoil are the ones who hear the word andaccept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold andsixtyfold and a hundredfold.” The responsive heart which says, “I have decided to follow Jesus … no matter what!”
Summary of heart responsesThe hard heart: “Not interested! Not now, not ever!”The shallow heart: “Hallelujah! Uh, where’s the exit?”The crowded heart: “Give me Jesus AND give me the world!”The responsive heart: “I have decided to follow Jesus … no matter what!”
Today’s Takeaways1. Don’t let the lack of response (hardhearts) or inadequate response(shallow/crowded hearts) to your“sowing” of the gospel keep you from“sowing!” And never forget that somehearts are ready to respond (responsivehearts). Once the seed is planted, abountiful harvest is on the way!
Today’s Takeaways2. As you reflect on the condition ofthe soil of your own heart, which is itmost like? The hard soil? The shallowsoil? The infested/crowded soil? Theresponsive soil?
Today’s TakeawaysFirst you must understand that every single one of us need to undergo a divine heart transplant.Ephesians 2:1And you were dead in the trespassesand sins…
Today’s TakeawaysEzekiel 36:25-26aI will sprinkle clean water on you, andyou shall be clean from all youruncleannesses, and from all youridols I will cleanse you. And I will giveyou a new heart, and a new spirit I willput within you.
Today’s TakeawaysEzekiel 36:26b-27And I will remove the heart of stonefrom your flesh and give you a heart offlesh. And I will put my Spirit withinyou, and cause you to walk in mystatutes and be careful to obey myrules.
Today’s TakeawaysFirst you must understand that every single one of us need to undergo a divine heart transplant. So come to CHRIST! “Repent and believe the gospel!”
Today’s TakeawaysAnd then once you receive that newheart, then you must learn to walkwith God, by getting to know hisWord, and then striving to live his Word!