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Video: The Parable of the Sower
(Mark 4:1-8)

Video Abstract (Author: Wild Stories About Jesus and Max7.org): This episode of WILD STORIES ABOUT JESUS retells Mark 4.1-8, highlighting Jesus' Parable of the Sower. This video is suitable for showing in schools, kids' clubs and churches and could be helpful for family devotions.

1. Read Mark 4:1-8 and watch the video. What is a parable? Why is it about a farmer?

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: "Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. (Mark 4:1-3, NIV)




2. The Parable of the Sower is a well known parable in the Bible. Because both the parable and the explanation of it is recorded in three gospels, a good method of study is to examine all three accounts. Each provides different details that will help you fully understand what Jesus is teaching. What is the seed that was sown?

Listen then to what the Parable of the Sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom… (Matt 13:18-19, NIV)

The farmer sows the word. (Mark 4:14, NIV)

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11, NIV)




3. What does the soil figuratively represent?

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart… (Matt 13:19, NIV)

… As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. (Mark 4:15, NIV)

… and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, (Luke 8:12, NIV)




4. What does the first soil by the path represent?

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. (Matt 13:19-20, NIV)

Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. (Mark 4:15, NIV)

Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. (Luke 8:12, NIV)




5. What does the second soil on rocky places represent?

The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. (Matt 13:20-21, NIV)

Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. (Mark 4:16-17, NIV)

Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. (Luke 8:13, NIV)




6. What does the third soil with thorny plants represent?

The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. (Matt 13:22, NIV)

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. (Mark 4:18-19, NIV)

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. (Luke 8:14, NIV)




7. What is the fruit?

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. (Matt 13:23, NIV)

Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown. (Mark 4:20, NIV)

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. (Luke 8:15, NIV)




The good soil represents the ideal hearer. This person hears the word, understands it (Matt 13:23), accepts it (Mark 4:20), holds it fast (Luke 8:15) and bears fruit.

In contrast to the hearer who is unresponsive to the gospel and message of the kingdom, the ideal hearer receives the good news; he is not hard.

In contrast to the hearer who receives the gospel but has very shallow belief, the ideal hearer understands the gospel and allows the message of the kingdom to take root; he is not shallow.

In contrast to the hearer with consuming worldly interests, the ideal hearer holds fast to the priority of the gospel and kingdom; he is not preoccupied.


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