Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
The Parable of the Sower
Mark 4:1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.
Mark 4:2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:
Mark 4:3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.
Mark 4:4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.
Mark 4:5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth.
Mark 4:6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away.
Mark 4:7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop (Lit. fruit).
Mark 4:8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
Mark 4:9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
The Purpose of Parables
Mark 4:10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable.
Mark 4:11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the [secret or hidden truths] mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables,
Mark 4:12 so that
‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.’ ”
The Parable of the Sower Explained
Mark 4:13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
Mark 4:14 The sower sows the word.
Mark 4:15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Mark 4:16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mark 4:17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Mark 4:18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
Mark 4:19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mark 4:20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept (receive) it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
Light Under a Basket
Mark 4:21 Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?
Mark 4:22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.
- Even the motives of the human heart will be revealed.
- Tracking those who watch pornography has become a simple thing with the advent of the internet. Not only pornography but the types of pornography with the depths of the depravity. Those doing searches for criminal records will soon have that information added along with address and phone numbers.
Mark 4:23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
- Because of man’s sin nature, his “bent” is toward the darkness. He is spiritually deformed, born without ears to hear or eyes to see. It takes the Spirit to give men spiritual ears and eyes. Meanwhile, man is “the walking dead” (spiritually).
Mark 4:24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.
Mark 4:25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
- The more one studies scriptures the deeper into the secrets of God they can go. It is like building on a foundation. The second layer can’t be built until the first layer is understood, and so on. Even if one were to study scripture their entire life they would never get to the bottom of God’s treasure chest.
The Parable of the Growing Seed
Mark 4:26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should (sow) scatter seed on the ground,
Mark 4:27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.
Mark 4:28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.
Mark 4:29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
- This parable involves the mysterious workings of God. Man can sow the Word of God, but it grows in the heart of men by the invisible Spirit. When it is ripe, God Reaps and His workers are rewarded.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Mark 4:30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?
Mark 4:31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth;
Mark 4:32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”
Jesus’ Use of Parables
Mark 4:33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it.
Mark 4:34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.
Wind and Wave Obey Jesus
Mark 4:35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
Mark 4:36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.
Mark 4:37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
Mark 4:38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, (Lit. Be quiet) be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How (Have you still no faith?) is it that you have no faith?”
Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
- Jesus left His house (heaven) went down to the boat (Mark 4:1 an ark of deliverance) in the water (of people) (the tossing and turning se)a: Satan causes the sea of people to storm and boil (Job 41:31).
- Jesus was asleep (Mark 4:38) (picture of death) in the boat (an “ark” translated “coffin”). (Foretelling his death), then when he arose (resurrection) the sea (chaos of restless people) were calmed (Mark 4:39). Then he went to the other side (back to heaven).