The Mysteries of the Kingdom of God

Crowds continued to press in on Jesus, and he taught them. Now though, He begins to speak to them in parables. The parables weren’t to keep the things of Gods kingdom hidden, but to identify the people that cared enough about what He was saying to listen and hear His explanation. His parables use common everyday activities like sowing seeds, lighting a lamp. And then He attached spiritual meaning to them. For those who gathered around in Mark 4:11 (LEB) he said to them, “To you has been granted the secret of the kingdom of God”.

The Parable of the Sower is Taught

Mark 4:1-9
Matthew 13:1-9
Luke 8:4-8 

He Began To Teach Them

Mark 4:1–9
This is not the first time Jesus has faced large crowds. As we just read, they had pressed so much that he could not eat and so much that his family thought he had lost his mind. Now, in Mark 4:1 “a very large crowd was gathered to him, so that he got into a boat”. And this was not the first time he had used a boat to get some space from the pressing crowd.

He Spoke Many Things To Them in Parables

Matthew 13:1–9
The setting is the same as in Mark’s account. And the parable is the same. Jesus is using something most of them are familiar with, seed planting, tending, and harvest.

A Large Crowd Was Gathering

Luke 8:4–8
Luke includes that people were going to him from town after town which I take to mean that crowds were coming from each town as He went. But there were also disciples, those who were following with him from town to town.

The Reason for Parables Explained

Mark 4:10-12
Matthew 13:10-17
Luke 8:9-10 

To You Has Been Granted The Secret

Mark 4:10–12
In Mark 4:10 it seems the crowds waned, perhaps later in the day and Jesus was now alone with his followers. The twelve are mentioned and we might assume they were the only followers except that Mark adds “those around him together with the twelve began asking”, so we know there were other disciples in addition to the Apostles.

Seeing They Do Not See

Matthew 13:10–17
There is a revelation that comes with receiving God’s Word and Matthew gives us the best explanation for Jesus speaking in parables. As He says in

Matthew 13:16–17 (LEB) But your eyes are blessed because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it!

These prophets and righteous people that Jesus is talking about did not have Him standing in front of them teaching them. But He is standing in front of His followers, and also every person in these crowds that followed, yet many still did not recognize who He was. Later on, he would explain revelation as he asks his disciples in

Matthew 16:15–17 (LEB) He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 And Simon Peter answered and* said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” 17 And Jesus answered and* said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this* to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

The Mysteries of the Kingdom of God

Luke 8:9–10
Jesus said in Luke 8:10 “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest they are in parables”. But it wasn’t that He was hiding anything from people. Anyone could have followed Him. Anyone had the choice to be among His disciples who were hearing the interpretation of the parables. But they didn’t value that knowledge or Jesus words enough to stay with him.

The Parable of the Sower Interpreted

Mark 4:13-20
Matthew 13:18-23
Luke 8:11-15

Do You Not Understand This Parable?

Mark 4:13–20
This is not a hard parable. Everyone in that time knew about seeds and planting and harvest. The leap is to recognize that God’s Word is like seed producing in us a harvest of righteousness. 

When Anyone Hears the Word About the Kingdom

Matthew 13:18–23
It isn’t enough to just hear what God has to say. We must understand the message. Matthew says it takes more than just hearing. He says in Matthew 13-20-21 there is “the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 21 But he does not have a root in himself, but lasts only a little while”. It is, in

Matthew 13:23 But what was sown on the good soil—this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces, this one a hundred times as much, and this one sixty, and this one thirty.”

When the children of Israel returned from exile, Ezra taught them for understanding.

The Seed is the Word of God

Luke 8:11–15
Good soil – “hearing the word, hold fast to it with a noble and good heart” and the thing that we don’t like to hear in our culture, “with patient endurance”. God’s word doesn’t produce immediately, really quick, right now because we want it to, but it does produce if we hold on to it.

The Parable of the Lampstand

Luke 8:16-18
Mark 4:21-23

Nothing is Secret That Will Not Become Evident

Take Care What You Hear!

Mark 4:21–25

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Mark 4:1-23
  • Matthew 13:1-23
  • Luke 8:4-18

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Gospels

This series follows the order of readings from the Tyndale One Year Chronological Bible. Covering these events chronologically as they happened, gives a much different context and helps us understand the move of God as He is introducing the Saviour, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. This series begins with Return To Me And I Will Return To You at the end of Malachi and introduces the “Witnesses” writing the Gospels.

Operation Exodus

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