The Gospel of Mark

Mark - Lesson 4C

Chapter 4:26-34

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  • Last week we ended our time together discussing Jesus’ explanation of how each soil condition responded to the seed it received.

    • The seed itself, we now know, is the word of God or to put it another way, it is the Gospel message.

      • The message of this good news serves as the light that has come into the world to be made known to all men.

    • Those who respond to the gospel of the Kingdom of God as we witnessed last week are those who ultimately respond with deep roots and produce fruit.

      • This created a bit of an issue for the Condition 3 individual.

      • This person is saved; however, they have no mature fruit to show for the life they have received in faith and need to mature in Christ.

    • This eventually leads to the bigger question: What is the result or evidence of the Gospel message having been received?

      • The only proper response that can come about is that the seed must bear mature fruit.

      • Therefore, we can assume that the intended purpose for all who fall under the Condition 3 category is for them to move from fruitlessness to fruitfulness in time.

    • We discussed that this growth and maturity of fruit comes with time by breaking up the fallow ground conditions in the life of the Condition 3 individual.

      • The reality is, if this individual has truly responded to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there will eventually be unhindered light and abundance of fruit.

    • Tonight, we are going to witness the powerful yet invisible growth of the seed (word of God) within the hearts of men who respond to the Gospel.

      • Along with that we will witness the ever growing Kingdom of God and its unfolding.

      • I invite you to turn your Bibles to Mark 4:26-34 as we dive into the Parable of the Growing Seed and the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

Mark 4:26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 
Mark 4:27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 
Mark 4:28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 
Mark 4:29 But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
Mark 4:30 And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? 
Mark 4:31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, 
Mark 4:32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.”
Mark 4:33 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; 
Mark 4:34 and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
  • Let’s Pray

  • Do you remember where you first heard the message of the gospel preached?

    • What about when the message of the gospel took root in your heart?

      • Did you experience an immediate change within you?

    • A burst of blended joy and light propelling you into an everlasting relationship with an infinite God who has illuminated your heart to the goodness of His grace.

      • Do you remember that moment?

    • This gift of the gospel could not be experienced without first being proclaimed and in its proclamation came spiritual regeneration and transformation.

      • As we mentioned last week, when the gospel is heard, there are only two responses that are rendered:

        • Either a genuine response to God’s grace or an utter rejection of His Glory.

    • To best understand where we are within our study of the Gospel of Mark tonight, it requires that we recall some relevant information.

      • Understanding this timeline to this point, will provide us with proper context to this parable.

    • So we will begin with an opening question as posed in prior teaching.

      • That question is: What moved Jesus to change His method of teaching about the Kingdom from being open and public to now being in parables?

    • If you recall, the use of parables by Jesus is the result of what was witnessed in Mark 3:22-30.

      • It is here where Israel’s religious leaders, due to their wicked and hardened hearts, contribute Jesus’ second Messianic miracle to that of the power of Satan.

      • We see this witnessed in Mark 3:22. Check out the text.

Mark 3:22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” 
  • From this point forward, Jesus begins to speak to the public in parables yet privately explains the parables to His disciples and the Twelve.

    • So what are we to take away from this timeline thus far?

    • Because Israel, nationally, has rejected Jesus and has blasphemed the Holy Spirit’s work, the offer of the Kingdom coming right then and there is rescinded for a time.

      • If Israel had accepted Christ as their King and the offer of the Kingdom right then and there, then they would have witnessed the Kingdom fully consummated before their eyes.

    • Unfortunately, this rejection of the King and His Kingdom would for a time, open the door to those to whom would receive the light by having eyes to see and ears to hear.

      • This begs the question: If Israel has nationally rejected Christ and His Kingdom, then who will have the opportunity to see it and enter it?

    • Well, we can see a picture of this Kingdom offer unfolding beyond its normative borders in Mark 3:7-8.

    • If you recall sometime back in our time in Mark 3, we discussed the pattern by which people in the Galilean region heard of the wondrous works of Christ and His teaching.

      • The regions in which were reached with the riveting news of Christ spread far and wide. Check out the text with me:

Mark 3:7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a great multitude from Galilee followed; and also from Judea, 
Mark 3:8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him.
  • The mentioning of select regions in which all the people heard of what Jesus was doing is not by happenstance.

    • Nothing in scripture is placed there incidentally.

    • If you notice, the regions named begin in predominantly Jewish regions and end in exclusively Gentile areas.

      • Now why do I mention this? This progression of hearing the news of Jesus and the Light He brings to the region will impact how we understand this parable.

      • Understand that the Kingdom Program will continue to be made known even with Israel having (nationally) rejected its King.

    • Although Israel (nationally) has blasphemed the Holy Spirit, this sin does not impact Israel in a personal (individual) sense from receiving the kingdom.

      • That, although a “leadership complex” is at play, where the people follow what the leaders say, there are those of the remnant who will respond to the message of the Kingdom and Christ as Messiah.

    • How can we confirm this reality? By simply looking at those in whom are among the Twelve selected by Christ. All Jewish men.

      • This confirms what Paul says in Romans 1:16-17.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 
Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
  • Now before we jump into the Parable of the Growing Seed tonight, I want us to briefly recap the Parable of the Soils.

    • Because as Jesus mentioned, understanding the first parable will provide proper understanding to the rest.

    • Jesus explained earlier that the word of God is the seed and that the word of God responds differently depending upon the soil it lands on.

      • The responses from the varying soil conditions gives way to how the heart of the individual receives the word of God and responds to it.

    • The heart response of the hearers can range from positive responses in faith, which result in much fruit from the word, to those who hear but do not respond.

      • Wherever the chips may fall, the word of God will produce what it has set forth to produce within that heart.

      • In other words, the word of God will produce the desired result of God to the Glory of God.

      • Isaiah 55:9-11 puts it this way:

Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
Isaiah 55:11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
  • So regardless of where the seed is spread, it will respond upon the hearts in whom the Lord has willed it to respond.

    • The difficulty in this as those who share the Gospel, is knowing two things:

      • 1. Who is the gospel working through?

      • 2. Is the gospel at work?

    • Are the people responding to the message that we herald, or is the word not rooted in their hearts?

    • With the first parable reviewed and proper context as to where we are in the timetable is given, we will now witness how the Gospel of the Kingdom of God germinates and grows within the hearts of men and women.

      • Pick me up at Mark 4:26-27.

Mark 4:26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 
Mark 4:27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 
  • Jesus tells those in His inner circle (the disciples and His Twelve) that the Kingdom of God is like a man who cast seed upon the soil.

    • It's clear that Jesus is once again reenforcing the agrarian parable from the Parable of the Soils.

    • As a quick reminder from the first parable, Jesus provided the explanation as to what the seed and the soil is.

      • We know that the seed represents the word of God and the soil represents the varied heart responses to the word.

      • Ultimately, we witnessed that the gospel within the hearts of men and women can only produce 2 responses.

    • There will either be a response, by faith, which produces joy and bears fruit or a response of rejection and no fruit thereby rendering unbelief.

      • What we can’t miss from this particular parable is not how the different soils respond, but rather how the seed itself grows and produces life.

    • He mentions that as the man casts seed, he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, the seed sprouts and grows.

      • Within this parable, Jesus is careful to make it apparent that the man who sows has no involvement with the seed’s growth.

      • He tells us the sower goes to bed and wakes up, alluding to the reality that no effort is exerted on behalf of the sower.

    • But it gets better. Notice the later half of verse 27.

      • The text tells us how this process of the seed germinating and growing unfolds: he doesn’t know.

    • Jesus makes it clear in structuring this parable that although the man/sower cast the seed, he is not the focal point of the process of the seed’s growth.

      • The primary focus seems to be placed on the seed (word) coming into its own by an inner working rather than an outward cultivation.

      • In other words, the gospel does not need your assistance to cultivate spiritual transformation into those who hear it.

    • Could this be the primary focus of Jesus’ point here in this parable?

      • If I may be so bold as to say, “That is the point.” You and I need not worry ourselves in the minutia of how God is moving in the hearts of the hearer.

      • It’s like my wife tends to say, “We just need to stay in our lane.”

    • This does beg a question to be asked and that is this: Who is the one that is producing the outworking of the gospel within the hearts of the hearer?

      • The Apostle Paul gives us that answer in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7. He says this:

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 
1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
    • It is God! God alone is responsible for the growth of His crop and their maturity. He is sovereignly in control of the field.

    • To think that the evangelistic efforts we implement in the church are somehow responsible for the growth of the gospel in that person’s heart is at best far reaching, thereby steering us out of our lane and into God’s.

      • Although a Pastor’s efforts at doing an altar call at the end of the sermon seems well-intended and genuine, it stirs up this sense of striving to see if the efforts of the message preached measured up to God’s inner work.

    • The onus is not on how good the preacher preaches with a particular style.

      • The response of the outworking of the gospel in the hearts of men and women is solely based upon the Holy Spirit regenerating the heart of that hearer.

      • No human being can stake claim to the power of the unveiling and illuminating power of the gospel.

    • If I were to say it plainly, the gospel needs no assistance to its content or context! It works all on its own.

      • No fertilizer or seed supplement is necessary. The Gospel is sufficient on its own.

      • We see why the seed of the Gospel and its growth needs no help in verse 28. Check out the text.

Mark 4:28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 
  • Jesus continues in His parable about the growth of the Kingdom of God by mentioning that it is the soil that produces the crop itself.

    • It begins growth as a blade, to the head, and eventually matures to where the head of grain is visible and available.

      • It would be at this point of the growth from seed form to full stalk of wheat that the crop is ready for harvesting.

    • This theme of agricultural life has been consistent since Mark 4:13, therefore we can see that the example of this parable and its purpose is building up.

      • Similar imagery with a common theme.

    • Remember in the original agrarian parable that the 4 soil conditions represent the varied responses of the heart upon receiving the very word of God.

      • In other words, the growth of the word in the life of a person is predicated upon the receptive or rejecting heart.

      • The gospel will either multiply and grow in number because of a prepared and available heart or there will be no fruit and no response.

    • One question that comes to mind is: If the soil is producing the crop, who has made the heart (soil) ready?

      • The answer to this question is found in the Greek language for two words: “produces” and “by itself.”

      • The word for “produce” in Greek is kar-po-phoreo. It means to cause the inner life to be productive or to bear fruit.

    • The other word here that Mark uses when Jesus says “The soil produces crops (by itself)” is the Greek word auto-matos.

    • It’s where we get our English word “automatic” or “automatically.”

      • Meaning that the crops themselves respond on their own not because of the intervention of man, but the divine intervention of God.

      • If it’s not clear by now, God does not need our help in the growth and development of the seeds planted within those He draws.

    • The way in which the gospel bears fruit in the lives of people is only by their hearts having been made ready to receive (successfully) the gospel.

      • So thus far we see that the word of God setting root within the readied heart, prepared by God, is then gathered for God at an appointed time.

      • However, before we move ahead too quickly, the text makes it clear that a heart made ready by God responds positively.

    • Within these first 3 verses alone, one could see that the goal for those who hear the word and respond is to respond in full maturity meaning produce fruit.

      • What we can tell from the original parable is that there is only one soil that produced mature fruit and that was Condition #4.

      • What about Condition #3?

    • Although Condition #3 does not yield fruit, they are saved, however this begs another question.

      • How does one differentiate between that of a Condition #2 person versus a Condition #3 person?

      • This difference is a matter of a person moving from spiritual death to spiritual life.

    • The answer to this question by default can only lead us to believe that the end goal for any true believer in Christ is bearing much fruit.

      • Paul says it this way in Colossians 1:10-11.

Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 
Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all perseverance and patience; joyously
  • The goal for every regenerate believer is a life that bears fruit to the Glory of God.

    • James 1:18 states it this way:

James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
    • This will make more sense as we look a bit closer to verse 29. Check it out with me.

Mark 4:29 But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
  • If we don’t see it by now, it’s apparent from verse 29 that there is an expected result of the seed and an expected reaping of a harvest.

    • Notice the sense of timing towards the opening line of verse 29… “But when the crop permits.”

      • It is as if there is time being patiently provided for the seed to do its work within the hearts of men and women to produce mature fruit, pleasing to the Father

    • It is as if there is a timeline at play here and the results of all things coming into full effect (bearing fruit) requires one to be patient in the process.

      • If you are the Lord’s, there will be evidence in your lives. It may not be fully visible now, but in God’s timing, if you are His, that life will come forth.

      • What does Paul tell the church at Philippi in Philippians 1:6?

Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
  • This confidence that Paul has is the confidence that the evangelist must have and the believer must know.

    • That, although I do not see or know how this gospel seed is unfolding in the lives of those it roots in, I can rest in knowing that God is in control of its growth and its gathering.

      • The growth of this seed will bring forth life on its own by both an inward and outward working of God’s Spirit in their lives.

    • I believe, according to Mark’s account of what Jesus was saying regarding the growing seed, that what God plants He germinates and what He germinates grows and what He grows He gathers! Nothing will hinder it, not even human interference.

      • There is clearly a picture that we see here in verse 29 of a harvest.

      • Seeing the word sickle and harvest here in the text should ring into the minds of a Jewish listener – judgement.

    • As James Brooks mentions in his commentary on Mark, he states that “The harvest almost certainly represents the judgment at the end of the age.”

      • Before we move on to the next Parable, one should note that the Parable of the Growing Seed is only unique to that of Mark’s Gospel.

    • Why is this parable only found in Mark’s Gospel, and why did the other Gospel writers not speak to this parable?

      • We do not know for certain; however, we can make certain assumptions that speak to the purpose of enduring well because of the Light we possess.

      • Check out what Peter wrote regarding the seed that we possess as people of God in 1 Peter 1:23-25.

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 
1 Peter 1:24 For,“All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
1 Peter 1:25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”And this is the word that was preached to you.
  • Friends, what is in you, which is the enduring word of Christ, will be fully worked out in you. This is a guarantee! (Isaiah 55:11 His word will not return void).

    • Let's move on now to the Parable of the Mustard Seed. Let's read verses 30-32.

Mark 4:30 And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? 
Mark 4:31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, 
Mark 4:32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.”
  • Jesus begins by asking the question, “How shall we picture the Kingdom or what shall we present it?”

    • In other words what is a comparative picture that best illustrates how the Kingdom will unfold from being paused for Israel now to fully being consummated at the 2nd Advent of Christ?

      • Well, it should not surprise us that Jesus is once again using agrarian allegory.

      • This illustration would especially connect well with the people of the 1st century.

    • Jesus then continues on with this idea of seed, sowing, and growth.

      • And it seems as if the idea of consistency with the first parable is at play here.

    • The only difference here is this time Jesus provides us with a particular seed type. He states that the Kingdom of God is like a “mustard seed.”

      • If you have not seen a mustard seed before, it is quite small.

      • As a matter of fact, Jesus expresses just how small in part b of verse 32.

      • He states that the mustard seed is the “smallest of all seeds”.

    • There are many that argue the point that the mustard seed is not the smallest seed and they are indeed correct.

      • However, we must keep in mind that this is parabolic in nature and is speaking to the mere size of the seed.

    • The mustard seed, also known as the black mustard plant, is found in present day Israel.

      • The size of the seed is approximately 1.00 mm in length.

      • It has the potential to grow to be anywhere from 10-12 feet tall.

    • So although the mustard seed is not the smallest seed that exists, Jesus’ point still remains. Check out how this small seed responds after being sown.

Mark 4:32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.”
  • Apparently, this small, and what seems to be insignificant seed, at face value, would eventually burst forth in glorious splendor and height providing abundant shade and refuge.

    • I find this to be quite significant in so many ways because this was in fact how our Savior’s ministry began – a small start.

      • He was the unattractive, unknown carpenter from a nobody-town called Nazareth.

    • This reinforces what Nathaniel’s disposition was towards Jesus being Messiah in John 1:43-51. Check out the text really quickly.

John 1:45 Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 
John 1:46 Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.”
  • If this doesn’t present you with the humble, inconspicuous, yet small beginnings of our Lord and Savior, maybe Mark 6:3 might help.

Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him.
  • Why is this so key to see? Because the average Jew in that day anticipated a different Messiah.

    • The Messiah that was expected was one who would be a valiant military leader.

    • He was going to dominate and overthrow the Roman government and rule victoriously with justice and might.

    • However, Jesus’ first coming was not triumphal and majestic (But His Second Coming will be)

    • Jesus’ first coming was one of humility. It was unimpressive at best. It almost seemed backwards.

    • The same way in which Jesus’ ministry would begin is the same way the Kingdom of God (Mystery Kingdom) would unfold, in time.

      • And the outworking of the Gospel being proclaimed to the world after Jesus’ death and resurrection would continue with the Twelve, with the exception of Judas.

    • Friends, the Kingdom of God would be made fully known to all in its full consummation, amongst all, at the appointed time.

      • A question comes to mind: When will that appointed time arrive for Christ’s 2nd Coming and for the Kingdom to be fully established?

    • Well, when Israel (nationally) responds to the reality that their King was the Christ that they killed and there is national repentance; that is when Christ will return with the Kingdom in full Glory!

      • In the meantime, the opportunity to receive the Kingdom in repentance and belief in the Gospel will be offered to the Gentiles (non-Jews) also known as the “outsiders.”

    • This brings us to part b of verse 32, where the text mentions that the “birds of the air can nest under its shade.”

      • This statement begs a question: Who are the birds and what is providing the shade? Let's first address the birds.

    • Remember that in order to understand all the parables, we must understand the first one – The Parable of the Soils.

      • Within proper rules of interpretation, symbols and signs can either be found in the current context, chapter, or previous chapters or books.

      • In this case, we have seen what the birds represent in the first parable in Mark 4:15.

    • It is in Mark 4:15 that Jesus explains it is Satan or satanic forces that come in and take away the word.

      • I believe, in a way, this reality of the birds finding shade and resting under the shade of the tree represent evil forces under the guise of Christendom.

    • I mention this because the quotes that Jesus uses are borrowed from 2 Old Testament scriptures: Daniel 4:10-12 and Ezekiel 31:6.

      • Here are the text for your reading:

Daniel 4:10 ‘Now these were the visions in my mind as I lay on my bed: I was looking, and behold, there was a tree in the midst of the earth and its height was great.
Daniel 4:11 ‘The tree grew large and became strong
And its height reached to the sky,
And it was visible to the end of the whole earth.
Daniel 4:12 ‘Its foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant,
And in it was food for all.
The beasts of the field found shade under it,
And the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches,
And all living creatures fed themselves from it.
  • And here is Ezekiel 31:6

Ezekiel 31:6 ‘All the birds of the heavens nested in its boughs,
And under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth,
And all great nations lived under its shade.
  • This imagery from the Old Testament regarding “birds resting under the shade of the trees,” to a Jew, rings not in a positive sense, but in a negative sense.

    • The reason being is because the Jews were held under captivity and exiled under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and Babylonian rule.

    • Here is what one scholar states regarding this particular parable:

“The history of Christendom clearly confirms this failing to intimidate as a roaring lion, he now sought to insinuate as the subtle serpent. In the first parable, the assault was from without (outside) the fowls of the air catching away the seed. In the second parable, his activities were from within – he sowed tares among the wheat” - A.W. Pink
  • So if the birds potentially represent evil forces then the full growth of the mustard seed represents what?

    • Friends, it would represent the Kingdom of God or Christendom as the Mystery Kingdom (Messianic Kingdom) is revealed.

    • Here’s the question for us to ask: How does this particular interpretation pan out? That is the question.

      • If the Kingdom of God is the larger than life tree that is taller than all other vegetation around it and spreads wide, then this indicates a thriving and growing Kingdom.

      • However, at the present time, while the Mystery Kingdom is at play and experiencing much growth, there will be evil forces attempting to rest under its shade for refuge.

    • So what does this look like in a practical sense for us today regarding being in the Age of the Gentiles (The Church Age)?

      • It looks like false teachers entering into the church using the guise of Christianity in an effort to come under the banner of Christendom.

      • It looks like growing apostasy in the church.

      • It looks like churches being more focused on catering to the needs of people than proclaiming the truths of God.

      • It looks like churches embracing more worldly matters versus standing firmly on the truth of the Gospel.

      • I can go on and on but the reality is these evil forces are currently, in this age, hiding under the guise of the church and Christendom as a whole.

    • But as the parable of the wheat and tares mentioned in Matthew’s Gospel, there will be a period where both the wheat and tares will rise together.

      • It will be in the harvest (judgement time) that what is God’s and what is not will be revealed.

      • This position provides a strong dispensation.

    • I also believe that, in a way, the birds could also be representing Gentile believers, those who would have been deemed outsiders.

      • Therefore, according to what I can see the text presenting, I find that both these interpretations are not too far off from one another.

      • Let's end tonight with verse 33 and 34.

Mark 4:33 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; 
Mark 4:34 and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
  • Mark wraps this section of parables here by summarizing the point that Jesus’ teaching ministry continues in parabolic terms versus teaching openly about the Kingdom.

    • Jesus’ teaching ministry moving forward would be through parables, teaching about the Kingdom in a hidden way.

      • The only way in which outsiders would come to know Jesus as Messiah would be through parables.

      • And those who had ears to hear would come to understand the truth of the Gospel of God in time as more and more is unveiled.

    • The exception to this would be with Jesus’ disciples and the Twelve.

      • To this group, Jesus would continue to explain the parables to them in their entirety.

      • This explanation would be in private, away from the large crowds for the insiders would be the ones who would take the Gospel from where it was to the outermost parts of the earth.

    • Let’s Pray.



  • James A. Brooks, Mark, vol. 23, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991), 85.