Jesus Teaches in Parables

Jack Wyrtzen used lots of stories in his preaching. One day someone was talking with one of the Word of Life staff members and said, “ I heard Jack preach one of his “skyscraper messages” the other night.” The staff member asked what he meant by a “s … More

Parable Teaching

In our passage today we look at three parables of Jesus, and each parable contains a paradox about God’s Kingdom. A paradox is simply a statement or idea that appears to be contradictory.

  1. A Lamp (4:21-23) - Even though God’s kingdom came to our world concealed, God wants us to make it known.
  2. A Scale (Mark 4:24-25) - Even though God’s kingdom is difficult to understand, we can understand when we invest ourselves into it.
  3. A Growing Seed (Mark 4:26-29) - Even though God calls us to share the kingdom message, God’s kingdom will come apart from human efforts.

Now the hearing in this context is listening to Jesus and his kingdom message, especially as it relates to the parables (vv. 24-25). It is the measure that we use in our hearing that determines the measure we receive in understanding. If we have some understanding of Jesus’ message, we’ll be given more. But if we have no understanding, then we’ll get nothing. When good seed is sown in good soil growth and production takes time and patience (vv. 26-29). If we see a plant every day we probably will not notice growth taking place. It is only when we don’t see it for several days that we notice the difference. The same is true in the Christian life. After the seed has been sown it should be given time to grow. We should not expect spiritual maturity right away. The growth is usually very gradual, but if we are patient, one day there will be a harvest.

 
 

 

Application

A parable can be explained as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. I find it interesting that Jesus always used stories to tell spiritual truth. This is a reminder to me that in all of my teaching and preaching I need to be using stories (parables) to share the truth of God’s Word with others. This is one reason why I want to begin each day of these devotional thoughts with an illustration.

Mark 4:21-29 (English Standard Version)

And he said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." And he said to them, "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. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

More Mark commentaries

Mark 1:1-8
John the Baptist Prepared The Way For Jesus

Mark 1:9-20
Jesus Begins to Pick His Staff

Mark 1:21-34
Jesus Deals With an Unclean Spirit

Mark 1:29-34
Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-Law

Mark 1:35-39
Jesus Rises Early to Spend Time With His Father

Mark 1:40-45
Jesus Touched The Leper And Healed Him

Mark 2:1-12
Jesus Heals The Paralyzed Man

Mark 2:13-17
Jesus Chooses Matthew as a Disciple

Mark 2:18-22
Pharisees Think There is Merit in Fasting

Mark 2:23-28
Jesus Plucks Grain on The Sabbath

Mark 3:1-6
Jesus Healing of The Man With The Witherd Hand

Mark 3:7-12
Crowds Come to See Jesus Performing Miracles

Mark 3:13-19
Jesus Delegates Responsibilities to His Disciples

Mark 3:20-30
Jesus Faces Opposition From Both Friend And Foe

Mark 3:31-35
Jesus’ Family Come to Take Him Home

Mark 4:1-9
Jesus Teaches on Sowing Seed in 4 Types of Soil

Mark 4:10-20
Jesus Explained The Parable of The Sower

Mark 4:21-29
Jesus Teaches in Parables

Mark 4:30-41
The Parable of The Mustard Seed

Mark 5:1-10
The Demon Possessed Man at Gerasa

Mark 5:11-20
Two Thousand Hogs Drown

Mark 5:21-34
Hemorrhaging Woman Healed

Mark 5:35-43
Jesus Heals Jairus Daughter

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Jesus returns to His home town of Nazareth

Mark 6:7-13
Jesus sends His disciples as missionaries

Mark 6:14-29
Mark tells about the death of John the Baptist

Mark 6:30-44
Feeding of the 5000

Mark 6:45-52
Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Mark 6:53-56
Crowd wanting to be healed

Mark 7:1-13
Conflict with the religious leaders over laws

Mark 7:14-23
Jesus attacks a system of rules and regulations

Mark 7:24-30
Jesus casts a demon out of a Gentile daughter

Mark 7:31-37
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