February 16th Mark 4 The Parable of The Sower
1: And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2: And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3: Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5: And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7: And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8: And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9: And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
10: And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11: And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Explanation – The Sower
13: And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 14: The sower soweth the word. 15: And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16: And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17: And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18: And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19: And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20: And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Christ teaches again and again he teaches from a boat just off the beach. Christ begins to teach in Parables. These parables illustrated his teaching to those who were willing to accept his Messiahship but it obscured his teaching to those who rejected him. – ‘He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Christ here is describing the preaching of the Message of the Kingdom and it seems that it fell on four types of soil. These four types are typically four stages in the preaching of the kingdom. The seed that fell on the wayside was the preaching of John the Baptist. There was fruit but the activity of Satan is so powerful that much of the seed is destroyed. Next Christ describes his own ministry. The seed falls on shallow ground which springs up quickly yet it has no depth and when persecution arises it withers. Christ’s ministry was welcomed everywhere and Christ specifically overcame the Satanic influence which marred Johns Ministry. However even the disciples when faced with persecution faded away. The third type of soil was good soil but it also had thorns buried deep which sprang up when the seed was sown. This describes the ongoing ministry of Christ which was carried out by his Apostles and is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. Wherever the Apostles went they found the soil was very fruitful however as soon as the seed began to grow so there grew up a host of false teaching. Paul’s ministry was surrounded by False teachers from Judaisers to libertines from legalists to the openly wanton. However Christ spoke of a fourth type of soil. The Good soil. This is prophetic and refers to the seed sowing of the 12 thousand Jewish evangelists from every tribe, during the 70th week. In that time there will be varying degrees of success but there will be a very great harvest of souls.