By: Dennis Pierce
Scripture Reading: Mark 4:1-29
I. Contained within our text is the Parable of the Sower, Purpose of Parables, A Candle on a Candlestick, and the Parable of Seed Sowing.
II. The subject of hearing or listening is found herein.
A. Parallel accounts found in Matthew 13 and Luke 8.
1. “Take heed what you hear” is found in Mark 4:24 and “Take heed therefore how you hear” is found in Luke 8:18.
III. Emphasis upon hearing found throughout New Testament. (Matthew 11:4; Mtatthew 17:5; Hebrews 3:7 and 4:7; Romans 10:14-17; John 10:27)
IV. Listening or hearing is in many verses within our text. (4:3,9,12,15,16,18,20,23,24)
A. The content of verses 21 – 29 indicates some connection with the parable of the sower.
1. The phrase, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,” is found in verse 9 and again in verse 23.
2. The parable of seed sowing in verses 26 – 29 is similar to the parable of the sower.
I. We must understand the Parable of the Sower. (4:1-20)
A. Jesus taught many things by parables. (vs 2)
1. A parable is a comparison to teach a needed truth.
2. A parable may conceal or reveal truth. (4:11-12)
a. Jesus gives some explanation of the purpose of parables in verse 11 – 12 and Matthew even more in Matthew 13:10-16.
b. Matthew records Jesus quoting from Isaiah about the condition of the people’s heart that has resulted in ears that are dull and eyes that cannot see.
c. Jesus stands ready to heal if people would listen and see.
d. The truth revealed in parables is concealed to the hardened heart.
e. Our heart can only be softened when we listen carefully to the word.
B. Understanding the Parable of the Sower is necessary to understand all parables. (Mark 4:13)
1. Jesus said to hear the parable of the sower. (Matthew 13:18)
a. The message is to listen to it or “pay attention.”
b. If we don’t get this, how will we understand other great truths?
2. There are four types of soil in the parable of the sower.
a. The wayside, the stony, the thorny and the good soil.
3. Each soil represents a type of heart that had heard the word.
4. What are we listening to when the word is taught.
a. Luke 8:11 states that the seed is the word of God.
b. There must be complete reverence and respect, because this word is not of man.
II. Pay attention to what you hear so you can teach others. (4:21-23)
A. You do not bring a candle into a room to hide it. (4:21)
1. We have something to bring to the world. (2 Corinthians 4:3-7)
2. What we have should be clearly seen. (4:21)
3. Let your light shine. (Matthew 5:14-16)
B. Nothing is hidden except to be made manifest. (4:22 ESV)
1. Our purpose is to teach the revealed plan of God to all the world. (Mark 16:15)
2. Some may conclude that since many people cannot understand parables, then there is no use to teach.
3. Those hearts that can’t understand God have closed their eyes. (Matthew 13:15)
4. However, there is always the possibility that someday they will listen with their ears and see with their eyes.
III. Pay attention to what you hear so you can grow. (4:24-25)
A. The amount of effort you give to hearing God, will be the same amount of growth you will achieve and even more.
B. If we do not listen and pay attention we will lose what we have!
What are we hearing? Are we hearing the devil say that others will not come to Christ? Just look at the parable. Three out of four soils are bad. Why tell the story? Jesus gives us the Parable of Seed Sowing immediately after this lesson. (26-29) We are like the man who sows seed. We sleep night and day and the seed sprouts and we don’t know how.
“So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:7
PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU HEAR FROM GOD!