Mark 4:1-20 – Learn to read the Bible #14

I’ve just published the 14th part of the Learn to read the Bible series on Mark’s Gospel. This week we are looking at Mark 4:1-20, the Parable of the Sower.

For those who are coming to this new, the idea behind this series is not for me to simply explain everything to you, but rather to give you things to think about yourself. This is about training you to read the Bible for yourself, rather than just giving you all the answers!

See this page if you’d like a few pointers for how to use these videos. Don’t forget to pray!

You can read the passage online here (although I’d suggest it’s better in a physical Bible). You may also want to have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and things you want to look into more.

Key points from Mark 4:1-20

  • The passage is basically in three sections: the first part (the parable), then Jesus’ explanation of why he talks in parables, then the explanation of the parable.
  • This is one of the few places in the gospels where Jesus directly explains what a parable means. So we should take this as helping us to understand parables more generally.
  • In the first part, Jesus tells the parable. If you did not have the explanation, how would you have understood it? If you find passages of the Bible that you don’t understand, what do you do?
  • In the second part, Jesus explains why he tells parables. What do you think is the difference between those who have the secret of the Kingdom of God, and those who don’t? Why is it a secret?
  • In the final part, Jesus explains what the parable means. He says the sower sows the “Word” – i.e. the gospel message that Jesus has been proclaiming. You might like to think about all the different reactions to the word. What is your reaction? What would you like it to be? What about other people? You could spend some time praying for yourself and for them.

Looking for more?

You can see the rest of the videos in this series on the this page. If you’d like a more focussed series teaching the Christian faith, check out the teaching programme.

You might also want to see the previous episode in the series on Mark 3:20-35.

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