Gospel of Mark Chapter Four: Part Two

Introduction: A key idea in the Gospel of Mark is that Jesus is the servant of God. Today, we hope to continue our discussion of Jesus' parables and start to talk about His prerogatives.

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Body:
Read Mark 4:26-29
3. The Seed Growing Gradually.
In this section of the Gospel of Mark Jesus compares the kingdom of God to the growing of a plant. The seed is sown and without any further effort from the sower, the seed comes up gradually.

And then the crop is cut down. The sickle language may be a reference to the judgment that comes.

Applications –
Agents of Growth.
- Notice in vs. 26 of the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Mark the ideas of sowing seeds and hoping for growth. As people of God, we should work on sowing the seed of God's word.

We should do what we can to help the word make a difference in the lives of people. The Each Reach One Ministry is a great way of moving in this direction.

Every member should strive to be a disciple. Every disciple should be well able to explain the plan of salvation and discipleship, as well as encourage people to get saved and grow in the Lord.

Too many church goers don't know and don't care about helping others get saved and grow in the Lord. Let's work on being agents of growth by sowing God's word.

God will provide the increase. - Notice in vss. 27-28 of this section of the Gospel of Mark that the actual growing is a mystery to the sower.

The truth is that as much as we share the word with others, it is the Holy Spirit who provides the growth, not us. Some of those we give our best presentation to show no signs of growth.

And some of those we shared with but had little expectation of growth can grow tremendously. When the control of the word grows in a person's life then the kingdom and rule of God is growing.

Let's thank God and trust Him to provide the increase with His word.

Read Mark 4:30-34
4. The Mustard Seed.
In the next section of the Gospel of Mark Jesus compared the kingdom of God to that of a mustard seed in this section of the Gospel of Mark. This seed is very small, but it produces such a large plant.

In fact, birds can rest on its branches. Jesus taught the crowd with parables and His disciples with clear explanations.

Applications –
Sowing the Seed of God’s Word.
- Notice in vss. 30-32 of the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Mark the repeating of the ideas of sowing the seed of God's word with the hope of it growing in the lives of people.

Wherever God, the King, rules is the kingdom. Let's work on sowing the word and trusting God for the results. The Each Reach One Ministry is a great way to get started.

Matching Content. - Notice in vs. 33-35 that Jesus ministered the word according to audience to whom He was talking. With the popular crowd, He used parables. With His disciples, He used clear explanation.

Let's work on matching our content and style with those to whom we speak. Jude 22-23 teaches that some need mercy and others snatching. There is no "one size fit all" presentation of the Word of God.

Read Mark 4:35-41
F. His Prerogatives.
1. Over the Storm.
Jesus was traveling with His disciples. A storm came,while He was asleep in this section of the Gospel of Mark.

His disciples woke Him up. He quieted the storm and challenged them to have more faith. They wondered about who Jesus really was.

Applications –
Stormy Weather.
- Notice in vs. 35-37 that the disciples did exactly what they were supposed to do, and a storm still came up in their lives.

No matter how much we pray, fast, and strive to live obedient lives, we can expect some stormy weather to come our way. Some fall apart when storms come. Others simply demonstrate their lack of faith in the storms, as with the disciples.

Let's develop faith that will get us through our storms. We can work on faith development, by way of prayerfully studying and obeying God's word with the support of other believers.

The accountability partners and discipleship development sessions of the Discipleship Development Ministry can be very helpful.

Worship and Live. - In this last section of our lesson in the Gospel of Mark, notice in vs. 39 that Jesus can handle our storms.

Whether we face financial, relational, health, or community storms, God can handle whatever comes our way. Not only is He able, but He is willing to work things out for the good of His people.

Sometimes it is good to stop our storms. And sometimes it is good for our storms to rage a little while longer. But at the end of the day, God is working all things out of for the good of His people.

It is hard to understand how we can really agree with this and then be so quiet in worship. Let's worship and live like we believe that God can handle whatever storm comes our way.

At the core of such living should be loving God, ourselves, and others with the blessed assurance of having accepted Jesus as our savior by faith.

Conclusion: Let's work on being servants of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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