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Mark 4:14-20 – The Meaning of the First Parable

After explaining WHY He is now speaking to the people ONLY in parables*, Jesus explains the meaning of the Parable of the Sower (actually the Soils).  It is important that Jesus tells them because by understanding this first parable, the disciples will be able to understand ALL the parables. (Mark 4:13)

The SOWER is Jesus here, but also the Old Testament prophets, the disciples, the apostles, preachers, teachers, and all true believers.

The SEED is “the Word” (the Word of God, the truth of God, the Gospel of salvation, the Grace of God in truth, the Word of Christ, the Truth, the Good News, the imperishable Seed, the living and abiding Word of God, Truthful speech, and the “washing” detergent which the Holy Spirit uses when He regenerates believers.**) that the sowers scatter into the world (as per the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20, and Mark 16:15-16).

The SOILS are the hearts of the hearers of the Word.  All of them listen, but their responses differ.  Only a few will truly HEAR the message, receive it, accept it, believe it, obey it…. and ultimately become fruitful.

#1 Soil = No interest.

#2 Soil = Superficial commitment.

#3 Soil = Love of the world is too strong.

#4 Soil = Understanding, believing, are regenerated, and bear fruit.

Long afterwards, Jesus’ brother James, one of those true believers, writes a warning and a call to commitment for us in his book, “Be DOERS of the Word, and not HEARERS ONLY, deceiving yourselves.” James 1;22

 

Jesus gave the crowds ample opportunity to hear his direct teaching (see the previous post), and believe in Him. For those who did, He gives further understanding, to those who rejected Him, he now speaks in mysteries and secrets.  Those who are willing to HEAR, receive more. Those who REFUSE, lose what bit of understanding they had.

** See Romans 10:17, Ephesians 1:13, Colossians 1:5, I Thessalonians 2:13, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 1:22-25,