In the parable of the sower, the emphasis is on the very significant kingdom increase that stems from the faithful lives of Jesus' disciples.
Scripture: Mark 4:1-34
- Jesus teaches in parables so people outside won’t understand and repent.
- The mystery of the Kingdom is given to Jesus’ followers (cf. Dan. 2:27-28).
- While the parables reveal the Kingdom to its subjects, they also obscure the Kingdom of God to those outside.
- God is setting up a kingdom that encompasses all nations and fills the earth (cf. Dan. 7:13-14).
- Daniel reveals that those who worship something other than God will become beastly themselves.
- Like Asaph who recited God’s acts in Psalm 78, Jesus reveals the history of the kingdom of God using parables.
- Throughout his gospel, Mark contrasts those who are outside the kingdom with those who are inside.
- Those outside don’t understand the mystery of the kingdom, and in fact they violently oppose Jesus.
- (cf. Isa. 5, 6:).
- Jesus’ preaching exposed the hardness of Israel’s hearts. Those inside the kingdom repent at His teaching, while those hostile to Jesus are exposed as rebels. They are blinded by their arrogance and pride.
- In the parable of the sower, the emphasis is on the very significant kingdom increase: 30, 60 or 100 times.
- But there is opposition to kingdom growth. We must be on guard against Satan’s forces today also.
- We live and serve in the authority of Jesus name so there is no real contest against Satan in the end.
- Some receive the Word with superficial repentance and joy; they fall away when facing opposition.
- Beware that if you grow up in the church, you’re in the good soil but you may not take root personally.
- Jesus warns us about divided loyalty; we live in a consumerist culture where worldly cares and possessions can overcome our devotion to God.
- The nations will find rest under the shade of the Kingdom (cf. Dan. 4, Ezek. 17).
- We don’t interpret the doings of the kingdom by what we see on the news. Through history there is a steady increase of Jesus’ government and peace (cf. Is. 9:7).
- We’re the ones bearing fruit and showing the increase of abundance in the parable of the sower. We may not feel important, but the promise is that we will bear fruit and spread the kingdom.
- Those who are with Jesus, receive His Word, and are sent out into the world.
- Why did Jesus tell parables with the intent that people would not understand and repent?
- What is the gospel’s expectation of kingdom growth?
- In what areas of our lives are we facing divided loyalty? How can we become preoccupied with the kingdom?
- How are we working to produce fruit of the kingdom?
- What are rewards of seeking first the kingdom?