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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Mark Chapter 4

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: John Mark
Date Penned: (55-65 AD)
Overview: Mark Records the 1st Gospel Written (c 1-16)
Theme:  The Message and Ministry of Jesus, The Servant (c 1-13)
Message:  the Parable of the Four Soils  (v 1-41)

Mark 4 Commentary

(4:1-9) Jesus Tells the Parable of the Four Soils - In the first three chapters, Mark recorded the quick pace of Jesus’ ministry. In this chapter, Mark turned his attention to the content of Jesus’ teaching, including a series of stories. Jesus’ stories entertained the many who were merely curious, while they enlightened the few who genuinely sought to know God. These earthy stories have profound spiritual applications. The story of the farmer, seed, and soils describes how the human heart responds to the truth.

(4:10-25) Jesus Explains the Parable of the Four Soils - The story of the soils was one of many Jesus used to create questions in the minds of his followers. Later, in a smaller group, Jesus explained why he used these stories, called parables, and what they meant. Although Jesus pointed out that the parables kept some people in ignorance, he willingly explained their meaning to the disciples. Any hearer who continued to be ignorant or confused did so because he or she refused to learn. Those who failed to understand the parables were not ready to obey the truth they taught.

(4:26-29) Jesus Tells the Parable of the Growing Seed - Many of Jesus’ stories sprouted from similes. He focused on what people knew or saw and then pointed to a similarity between that and a characteristic of the Kingdom of God. The way Jesus made use of his surroundings demonstrates that all of creation is filled with lessons and pointers. This story teaches us that spiritual growth cannot be measured by a stopwatch. The Kingdom of God may be planted in us in an instant, but its growth becomes apparent only with the passing of time and the practice of faithfulness.

(4:30-34) Jesus Tells the Parable of the Mustard Seed - Mark concluded this sampling of Jesus’ stories with a second lesson about the Kingdom of God. He began the chapter with the story of the four soils, which illustrates the variety of responses to the gospel. The two following stories focus on what happens when the truth finds a receptive heart. The story of the growing seed illustrates the growth rate of the Kingdom of God. The story of the mustard seed illustrates the surprising size of the growth from such a small beginning.

(4:35-41) Jesus Calms the Storm - In this section, Mark has described the intense encounters between Jesus and various groups (religious leaders, crowds, his own family) and given us a series of teaching stories. In this section, he recalled a series of miracles that demonstrated Jesus’ power over the natural elements, the spiritual realm, and the human body. He presented a strong case for Jesus’ startling uniqueness and divine nature. Mark’s details of Jesus calming the storm are absent in the accounts of Matthew and Luke. These details indicate that Mark used Peter as a source. He gives intimate facts that only an eyewitness would have known. Believers today profess trust in Jesus’ power over the storms of life, but many fall short of demonstrating that trust when the storms arrive. Saying we believe that Jesus can help us takes on a whole new meaning when we actually depend on him for help


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Is Your Heart Tender?

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Mark with Chapter 4. In our text today we see the parable of 4 soils and seeds representing the Word of God and our faith. In making application we see that our hearts need to be tender and repentant. Accepting the Word of God by Faith to see it take root in our lives. How about you? Is your heart tender to God's Word? Let us learn from our text today and the Words of Jesus to see that our His Word can take root in our lives if we have faith and our hearts are repentant and tender to His truths.


Mark 4

Mark 4

 1And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

 2And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

 3Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

 4And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

 5And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

 6But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

 7And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

 8And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

 9And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

 10And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

 11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

 12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

 13And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

 14The sower soweth the word.

 15And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

 16And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

 17And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

 18And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,

 19And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

 20And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

 21And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

 22For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

 23If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

 24And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

 25For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

 26And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

 27And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

 28For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

 29But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

 30And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

 31It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

 32But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

 33And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

 34But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

 35And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

 36And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

 37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

 38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

 40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

 41And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?