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Jesus -- the Messiah #10

Jesus Brings in a Kingdom of Love


We now have another unexpected role of the Messiah.  Jesus comes as a teacher and equipper.  He is not going to carry on this struggle for righteousness alone.   He respects the potential and call of all God’s children.  He teaches them so they can participate with Him and carry on after Him.

Jesus often taught using parables.  Parables are stories that make you stop and think:  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (vv. 9, 23)   In these verses we have four of Jesus’ parables.  Many more are recorded in the other gospel accounts in the New Testament.

This set of parables has the same point:  Make your decision about Me and My battle for righteousness.  Whose side are you on?

Jesus would even quote the sarcasm of the prophet Isaiah, hoping to get His hearers to wake up and decide:  “Otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!” (v. 12)


Read Mark 4:1-34.


The Parable of the Sower

1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”

9 Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, “ ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’’”

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”

A Lamp on a Stand

21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

24
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed



30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.



Notes:



vv. 3-20 -What is the challenge of the Parable of the Sower? What kind of soil are you? When Jesus call comes to you, is it like seed landing on a hard path or in a rocky place or among thorns? Or are you good and ready soil? (vv. 5-6) If you are good soil, you will produce much fruit for God’s Kingdom in your life: “thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times what was sown.”
(v. 20)

vv. 21-25 -What is the challenge of the Parable of the Lamp on a Stand? Do you consider yourself a lamp, someone that shows light in the darkness? If so, why are you hiding? Are you willing to make your decision to join with Jesus in the struggle for righteousness or not? Your talents and abilities are not to be wasted or ignored. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you -and even more.”

vv. 26-29 – What is the challenge of the Parable of the Growing Seed? Do you say that you lead a productive life for God? Show the results. The day will come when God will come to take an account of everyone’s life. What will you have to show at harvest time?

vv. 30-32 – What is the challenge of the Parable of the Mustard Seed? Do you say that you are too small and unimportant to do anything in Jesus’ battle? It’s not you that is doing it. You are working with God, in the power of the Holy Spirit. There are no excuses. In God’s power, the smallest can produce the largest. The decision is up to you.




How do you respond to Jesus’ challenge for your life? Do you have any questions about these parables?  I'd love to hear from you today.


Abraham


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