Adult Study: Mark 4-21-32

Mark 4:21-32

Proverbs and Parables


  • The subject of the teachings of chapter 4 is how do we have a fruitful faith that survives and grows to harvest rather than one that bears no fruit. What are some of the answers and wisdom provided by all of these teachings?
  • We become the sower in this second part of chapter four. We are responsible for scattering the seed. What are the reasons we are not faithful in the “simple” task of sharing the Word?
  • Where/when have you seen the “Word” that you have sown seem not to take, but you are trusting something is happening in the ground?
  • Luke and Matthew change the mustard bush to a tree. What seems lost in this change from the point that Jesus wanted to make? How has the Church/Christendom lost the point of this teaching?

Mark 4:21-34

21 He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? 22For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. 23Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ 24And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. 25For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.’

26 He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’

30 He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

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