Mark Chapter 4  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Mark 4
The Parable of the Sower

1And again he began to teach beside the lake.a And such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat in the lake and sat down, and the whole crowd was on the land facing the lake.
  2And he was teaching them many things in parables and was saying to them in his teaching,
  3“Listen! Pay attention! The sower went out to sow,
  4and it came to pass as he sowed, some seed fell beside the path, and the birds came and devoured it.
  5And some fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up because the soil was not deep.
  6And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and because it had no root, it withered away.
  7And some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
  8And some fell onto the good soil and yielded fruit; springing up and growing, and it produced fruit—some thirtyfold, and some sixtyfold, and some a hundredfold.”
  9And he was saying, “Anyone who has ears to hear had better listen!”

Parable of the Sower Explained

10When he was alone, the ones who were around him, with the Twelve, began asking him the meaning of the parables.
  11And he was saying to them, “The sacred secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those who are outside, everything is in parables,
  12with the result that although they see, they do not perceive, and although they hear, they do not understand; otherwise they would turn to God and be forgiven of their sin.”b

13And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand any of the parables?
  14The sower sows the word.
  15Now these people are like the seed beside the path where the word is sown: when they hear, immediately the Adversary comes and takes away the word that has been sown in them.

16“And these people are like the seed being sown on the rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy,
  17yet they do not have any root in themselves but are short-lived. Then, when hardship or persecution comes because of the word, immediately they fall away.

18“And others are like the seed sown among the thorns: these are the ones who have heard the word,
  19but the worries of this age and the deceitfulness of wealth and the desire for other things enter in and choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

20“And these people are like the seed sown on the good ground: those who hear the word, and accept it, and produce fruit; one thirtyfold, and another sixtyfold, and another a hundredfold.”

The Kingdom Will Be Revealed

21And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought out in order to be put under a basketc or under a bed? Is it not to be put on the lampstand?
  22For what is hidden is meant to be revealed, and what is concealed is meant to come out into the open.
  23Anyone who has ears to hear had better listen!”

24And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be added to you.
  25For whoever has, to him more will be given, but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

The Kingdom is Like Seed

26And he said, “The Kingdom of God is like a person who scatters seed on the ground.
  27And he sleeps and rises, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, although he does not know how.
  28The earth bears fruit on its own—first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.
  29But when the crop is ripe, immediately he wields the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Kingdom is Like a Mustard Seed

30And he said, “To what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or by what parable can we explain it?
  31It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds that are on the earth,
  32yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and grows large branches so that the birds of heaven are able to nest in its shade.”

Parables and Explanations

33And with many parables like these he spoke the word to them, and to the extent that they each were able to, they understood him;d
  34and he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately, he explained everything to his own disciples.

Jesus Calms the Storm

35And on that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let’s cross over to the other side.”
  36And leaving the crowd, they took him along with them in the boat, just as he was (and other boats were going along with him).
  37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so much so that the boat was already filling up.
  38And he was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion, and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
  39And he got up, subdued the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and it became completely calm.
  40And he said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no trust?”
  41And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who is this, that even the wind and the lake obey him?”

This is referring to the “Sea of Galilee.”
From Isa. 6:9-10
Greek is modios, a container for measuring dry goods equal to about 2 gallons (8 liters).
Lit. “to the extent that they were able to understand”

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