©1996 "Yes Lord" Ministries
MARK LESSON 4
In this lesson, our focus is going to
be mainly on Parables. Since most of Chapter 4 consists of parables, we will evaluate
the 4 Parables in Chapter 4 and then look at some of the other parables recorded
by Mark elsewhere in his gospel. There are other parables recorded in Mark and in
the other gospels which will not be included in our study, so this lesson will not
be 'exhaustive' of all the parables, (though you might be exhausted when we are finished!
Just kidding!) However, the parables which we will study give us good insight into
many of the concepts and principles which Christ taught through parables.
Before we begin our study of Parables in the Gospel of Mark, we need to do two
things. First, we need to put Chapter 4 back into our minds and hearts and then,
secondly, we need to understand what a Parable is. So, your first assignment
is to read Mark Chapter 4 and, as you read, as always, keep a piece
of paper handy to jot down any possible important (key) words that
you observe during your reading.
---------pause now while you do this assignment--------
Great! I see you have finished. Now tell me, what is the method of teaching that
is used in most of this chapter? _____________________________________________.
Correct! The method of teaching used primarily in this chapter is that of Parables!
List the 4 Parables in Chapter 4
This section of our study will begin by looking at these 4 parables. Then we will
examine some other parables located elsewhere in the Gospel of Mark as well as examine
some other interesting things. Since Mark 4:35-41 is not a parable, we will study
it next week.
With that as a way of where we are going , your next assignment is to read
Mark 4:1-34 and, as you read, mark the important (key) words that you observed and
jotted down during your first reading a few minutes ago.
---------pause now while you do this assignment--------
Great! Finished again, right? Ok! Now, BEFORE we begin our actual study of the
Parables in Mark, you will recall that I said there were 2 things we needed to do
before we begin this study. Well, you have done ' thing 1' which was to get Chapter
4 back into your heart and mind. Now it is time to do 'thing 2', which
is to find out what parables are -- so, bear with me now as I relate
to you information from several sources which will tell you probably more than you
ever wanted to know about Parables. However, this foundational information is critical
and necessary if you are going to really understand what parables are, why Christ
used them, and how you and I can learn from them today. So, read along with me as
we together learn from real experts who can teach us a lot about Parables.
PARABLE comes from the Greek word PARABOLE which is itself derived from 2
PARA = beside + BALLO = to cast
As explained in the Expository Dictionary of Bible Words:
"The Greek word for parable means something set alongside. Sometimes
scripture records people illustrating what they are saying by setting a concrete
situation alongside an abstract concept (ie. Judges 9:8-15; 2 Sam. 12:1-7; Isa. 5:1-7).
The most well known parables in the Bible are those of Jesus. Many of these have
an illustrative thrust, such as those of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:27-37), the
Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), and the Talents (Luke 19:11-27). But some parables,
related to a yet hidden form of the Kingdom, were told in such as way that they concealed
rather than illustrated Jesus meaning. "
Next let's see what A.T. Robertson has to say concerning Parables:
"The word Parable (parabole from paraballo, to place alongside for
measurement or comparison like a yardstick) is an objective illustration for a spiritual
or moral truth ... the parable may not be actual fact, but it could be so. It is
in harmony with the nature of the case. The allegory (allegoria) is a speaking parable
that is self-explanatory all along like Bunyan s Pilgrim Progress. All allegories
are parables, but not all parables are allegories. The Prodigal son is an allegory,
as is the story of the Vine and Branches (John 15). John does not use the word parable,
but only Paroimia, a saying by the way (John 10:6; 16:25,29). As a rule, the parables
of Jesus illustrate one main point and the details are more or less incidental, though
sometimes Jesus explains these. When He does not do so, we should be slow to interpret
the minor details. Much heresy has come from the fantastic interpretations of the
parables. ... "
Isn t this interesting? Want to know more? Sure you do. So now, let's hear what
Smith's Dictionary of the Bible has to say concerning Parables.
"The word parable is in Greek Parabole ... which signifies placing beside
or together , a comparison. A parable is therefore literally a placing beside, a
comparison, a similitude, an illustration of one subject by another. ... as used
in the OT, it had a very wide application, being applied to the shortest proverbs
(I Sam 10:12; 24:13; 2 Chron 7:20, sometimes to dark prophetic utterances, Num 23:7,
18; 24:3; Ezek 20:49, sometimes to enigmatic maxims, Ps 78:2; Prov 1:6, or metaphors
expanded into a narrative. Ezek 12:22.
In the NT itself, the word is used
with a like latitude in Matt. 24:32; Luke 4:23; Heb 9:9.
It was often used in
a more restricted sense to denote a short narrative under which some important truth
is veiled. Of this sort were the parables of Christ. The parable differs from the
fable (1) in excluding brute and inaminate creatures passing out of the laws of their
nature, and speaking or acting like men; (2) in its higher ethical significance.
It differs from the allegory in that the latter, with its direct personification
of ideas or attributes, and the names which designate them, involves really no comparison.
The virtues and vices of mankind appear as in a drama, in their own character and
costume. The allegory is self-interpreting; the parable demands attention, insight,
sometimes an actual explanation.
It differs from a proverb in that it must
include a similitude of some kind, while the proverb may assert, without a similitude,
some wide generalization of experience.
For some months Jesus taught in the
synagogues and on the seashore of Galilee as He had before taught in Jerusalem, and
as yet without a parable. But then there came a change. The direct teaching was met
with scorn, unbelief, hardness, and He seemed for a time to abandon it for that which
took the form of parables. The worth of the parables as instruments of teaching lies
in their being at once a test of character and in their presenting each form of character
with that which, as a penalty or blessing, is adapted to it. They withdraw the light
from those who love darkness. They protect the truth which they enshrine from the
mockery of the scoffer. They leave something even with the careless which may be
interpreted and understood afterward. They reveal, on the other hand, the seekers
after truth. These ask the meaning of the parable, and will not rest until the teacher
has explained it. In this way the parable did its work, found out the fit hearers
and led them on. In most of the parables it is possible to trace something like an
1. There is a group which have for their subject the laws of the
divine Kingdom. Under this head we have the Sower, Matt 13, Mark 4, Luke 8: the Wheat
and the tares, Matt 13, etc.
2. When the next parables meet us they are of a
different type and occupy a different position. They are drawn from the life of men
rather than from the world of nature. They are such as these -- the two debtors,
Luke 7; the Merciless servant, Matt 18; the good Samaritan, Luke 10, etc.
Toward the close of our Lord s ministry the parables are again theocratic, but the
phase of the divine Kingdom on which they chiefly dwell is that of its final consummation.
In interpreting all parables note -- 1. The analogies must be real, not arbitrary.
2. The parables are to be considered as parts of a whole, and the interpretation
of one is not to override or encroach upon the lessons taught by others. 3. The direct
teaching of Christ presents the standard to which all our interpretations are to
be referred, and by which they are to be measured."
Wow, look at what you are learning. Let s listen to one more expert tell us
about Parables. There is still more to learn. So, now let's hear from Nelson's
Illustrated Bible Dictionary:
Parable: A short simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth,
religious principle, or moral lesson; a figure of speech in which truth is illustrated
by a comparison or example drawn from everyday experiences.
A parable is
often no more than an extended metaphor or simile, using figurative language in the
form of a story to illustrate a particular truth. The Greek word for parable literally
means a laying by the side of or a casting alongside thus a comparison or likeness.
In a parable something is placed alongside something else, in order that one may
throw light on the other. A familiar custom or incident is used to illustrate some
truth less familiar.
Although Jesus was the master of the parabolic form,
He was not the first to use parables. Examples of the effective use of parables are
found in the O.T. Perhaps the best known of these is Nathan s parable of the rich
man who took the one little ewe lamb that belonged to a poor man (2 Sam. 12:104).
By means of this parable, Nathan reproved King David and convicted him of his sin
committing adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:5-15). A wise woman of Tekoa also used
a parable (2 Sam. 14:5-7) to convince King David to let her son return to Jerusalem.
Jesus characteristic method of teaching was through Parables. His two most famous
parables are the parables of the Lost son (Luke 15:11-32) and the Parable of the
Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Both parables illustrate God s love for sinners and
God s command that we show compassion to all people. Actually, the Parable of the
lost Son (sometimes called the Parable of the Prodigal Son or the Parable of the
Loving Father) is the story of 2 lost sons: the younger son (typical of tax collectors
and prostitutes) who wasted possessions with indulgent living and the older son (typical
of the self-righteous scribes and pharisees) who remained at home but was a stranger
to his father s heart.
Some entire chapters in the gospel are devoted to
Jesus parables. For instance, Matthew 13, which contains the parables of the sower
(vv. 1-23), the wheat and the tares (vv. 24-30), the leaven (v. 33), the hidden treasure
(v. 44), the pearl of great price (vv. 45-46), and the dragnet (vv. 47-52).
Although parables are often memorable stories, impressing the listener with a clear
picture of the truth, even the disciples were sometimes confused as to the meaning
of the parables. For instance, after Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the
tares (Matt. 13:24-30), the disciples needed interpretation in order to understand
its meaning (Matt. 13:13-43). Jesus sometimes used the parabolic form of teaching
to reveal the truth to those who followed Him and to conceal the truth from those
who did not (Matt. 13:10-17); Mark 4:10-12; Luke 8:9-10). His parable thus fulfilled
the prophecy of Isaiah 6:9-10. Like a double-edged sword, they cut 2 ways -- enlightening
those who sought the truth and blinding those who were disobedient.
of Jesus parables have one central point. Thus, Bible students should not resort
to fanciful interpretations that find spiritual truth in every minute detail of the
parable. The central point of the parable of the Good Samaritan is that a hated Samaritan
proved to be a neighbor to the wounded man. He showed the traveler the mercy and
compassion denied to him by the priest and the Levite, representatives of the established
religion. The one central point of this parable is that we should also extend compassion
to others --even those who are not of our own nationality, race, or religion (Luke
In finding the central meaning of a parable, the Bible student
needs to discover the meaning the parable had in the time of Jesus. We need to relate
the parable to Jesus proclamation of the Kingdom of God and to His miracles. This
means the parables are more than simple folk stories; they are expression of Jesus
view of God, man, salvation, and the new age which dawned in His ministry. A good
example of this approach are the parables dealing with the 4 lost things in Luke
15:3-32: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the 2 lost sons. The historical context
is found in Luke 15:1-2; Jesus had table fellowship with tax collectors and sinners.
The pharisees and scribes, the religious experts of Jesus day, saw such action as
disgusting because, in their view, it transgressed God s holiness. If Jesus truly
were a righteous man, they reasoned, then He would not associate with such people;
He would keep Himself pure and separate from sinners.
In response to their
murmuring, Jesus told them these parables. God rejoices more, He said, over the repentance
of one sinner (those sitting with Him at the table) than over 99 just persons who
need no repentance (Luke 15:7) -- that is, than over the religious professionals
who congratulated themselves over their own self-achieved goodness (compare the parable
of the Pharisee and the tax collector; Luke 18:9-14). Likewise, the prodigal son
(Luke 15:11-24) represents the tax collectors and sinners; the older son (Luke 15:25-32)
represents the scribes and pharisees.
A major theme in Jesus parables is
the demand of following Him in authentic discipleship. In the parable of the great
supper (Luke 14:15-24), Jesus showed clearly that the time for decision is now. In
the parable of the unfinished tower and the King going to war (Luke 14:28-32), Jesus
demanded that His followers be prepared to give up all. In the parables of the hidden
treasure and the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:44-46), Jesus stated that the Kingdom
of Heaven is of such value that all other treasures in life are of secondary worth.
Jesus parables are a call to a radical decision to follow Him, regardless of the
Whew ! As I said, all this knowledge and information about parables is probably
more than you ever wanted to know. But, surely you now have a pretty solid understanding
of parables, their purpose, limitations, intentions, etc. So, as we bring this section
to a close, let's answer a few questions in an attempt to consolidate and summarize
what you have learned about parables.
Based on what you have read, In your own words, summarize:
? What is a parable?
? What is the purpose of a parable?
? How is a person supposed to interpret a parable?
? What is the danger of trying to get too detailed in interpreting a parable?
Explain your answer or give an illustration of how this could occur.
Well, now that you have a good foundation, let's stop and give your eyes
and mind a rest. In the next section, we'll begin to look at many of the Parables
in the Gospel of Mark. There is much Jesus wants us to learn from His Parables. So,
get rested up and we'll continue soon.
We are going to look at the first and longest parable in Chapter 4, the Parable
of the Sower. Read Mark 4:1-20, and as you read, be sure you have
marked the important word SEED and any words or synonyms used as a substitute for
seed. Also mark any other words that seem to be very important (or key) in this parable.
---------pause now while you do this assignment--------
Great! Now, just for completeness. This parable is also related by Matthew and
Luke in their Gospels. So, look in your Bible and read their accounts
as recorded in Matt. 13:3-23 and Luke 8:5-15.
---------pause now while you do this assignment--------
OK! It s Q & A time! Based on what you ve read, answer the following questions:
summarize this parable (don't explain it, just give the summary of Mark 4:3-8)
? Did Jesus explain this parable? (Circle your answer) .........YES ............NO
? To Whom did He explain it?
? Why did He only explain this to His disciples and the others around Him and
NOT to the masses ?
? What does the SEED represent? ___________________________________________
? What does the GROUND / SOIL / PLACE represent? ____________________________
? Who or what does the FARMER represent? __________________________________
? What is the source of the SEED ? (Hint: before you answer this, Read 2 Cor 9:10)
Describe the 4 kinds of places where the seed was sown, tell what happened
to it and explain what each represents.
? What is the main point Jesus was trying to teach in this parable?
? Explain the meaning of Mark 4:11-12. ( ie. Is Christ trying
to keep people from being saved by telling things in Parables? And, if not, then,
why is He speaking in parables? What is His purpose?) By the way, FYI, the quote
by Jesus in verse 12 is from Isaiah 6:9-10.
Ok, as we bring this section to a close, if you want to, you can NOW look
in your reference books and commentaries and see what they say about the Parable
of the Sower. Take notes. But, DON T read about any of the other parables yet. There
will be time enough for that later.
In this section, we are going to look at the other 3 parables in Chapter
4, one at a time. So, first read Mark 4:21-25, and , as you read, mark
any additional important words that you haven't already marked.
---------pause now while you do this assignment--------
? What is this parable about (ie. How would or did you title it?)
.Matthew 5:15-16 also relates this Parable. Turn to that passage in your
Bible and write it in the space below. You might also want to include
verses 5:13-14 in order to put this parable about the Lamp on a Stand in context.
Looking at the larger context for this parable (Matthew 5:13-16), when we
read "You are the salt of the earth ... and you are the light of the world...."
? Who is the 'you' in Matthew 5:13 and 5:14?
? Who or what does the lamp represent in Mark 4:21 and Matthew 5:15?
? Are these who's the same? (Circle your answer) ...... YES .........NO ........
? What is Jesus teaching (ie. What is the main point ?) in the 2 parables in Matthew
? What is Jesus teaching (ie. What is the main point ?) in Matt. 5:15-16 and
? What is Jesus teaching in Mark 4:22? (Hint, read Matthew 10:26-27
and Luke 12:2-3 before answering.)
! Explain Mark 4:23-25.
? What is the message (application) for you in these 3 parables about the
Salt, Light, and Lamp?
Now read the NEXT Parable in Mark as recorded in Mark 4:26-29.
Interestingly this particular parable is ONLY recorded in Mark ! So, obviously we
won t be reading any cross references for this parable.
---------Pause while you do this assignment---------
? What did you title this parable______________________________________________
Look back at the parable of the Sower (Mark 4:3-8). Let's compare it with this
parable about the growing seed. Specifically, let's consider the seed and the soil.
In the Parable of the Sower, which was more important for the success of the
harvest -- the SEED or the PROPER SOIL?
Circle your answer: In the Parable of the sower, the SEED or the PROPER
SOIL was more important.
And, in the Parable of the Growing Seed, which was emphasized the most
-- the POWER OF THE SEED or the POWER OF THE SOIL as being most responsible for the
Circle your answer: In the Parable of the Seed, the POWER OF THE SEED or
the POWER OF THE SOIL was responsible for the harvest.
Hmmmm. Yes. Very interesting. In the parable of the Sower, the soil is important,
whereas in the Parable of the Growing Seed, the seed itself seems to contain a power
which is being emphasized.
? What dos the SEED represent in both parables?_________________________________
? What does the SOIL represent in both parables? ________________________________
? Are these parables contradicting each other? Circle your answer.........YES
? Then what IS being taught in each concerning the seed and the soil?
? What does the HARVEST represent in each parable?
Ok, let s look at one more parable and then we ll check our commentaries. So,
don t peek yet. Read now Mark 4:30-32. Also read Matthew 13:31-32 and Luke
13:18. Write all 3 of these relatings of this same parable in the space below:
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Now, based on what you ve read and written,
? What does the Mustard seed
Yes, you area correct! The mustard seed represents the Kingdom of God. Now hold
that thought as we'll learn more about the Kingdom of God in section 5. But, for
now, let's continue looking at the parable itself.
? What is the main point (main teaching) of this Parable of the Mustard Seed?
(Ie. What is Jesus teaching His disciples and us about the Mustard seed -- the Kingdom
? Is this parable applicable for only 2000 years ago or is it still applicable
today? Explain your answer.
If applicable today, then what is Jesus trying to tell us today concerning
the Kingdom of God?
Ok! Great! NOW, if you want, you can check your other resources and commentaries
and see what they have to say concerning these 3 parables. Take notes on a separate
piece of paper. When you have finished we will call it quits for this section.
Well, we have looked mainly at the 4 parables in Mark Chapter 4 and a couple of
others in Matthew. But, as you know, there are many more parables in Mark and in
the Gospels. We are not going to examine all of them, but, let's look back in
Mark Chapters 2 and 3 and look at a few more parables that Jesus used in His teaching.
Let's begin with those recorded in Mark 2:18-22. You will recall already
reading this section when we observed Jesus' response to questions concerning fasting.
Did you notice at the time that He used parables in His answer? Sure you did! So
now we want to see what Jesus was teaching when He answered in these parables.
Yes, the people knew that Jesus WAS telling them that He and His disciples did
not need to fast at this time. But, what were the underlying truths that Jesus
was also teaching at the same time that He was explaining why they weren't fasting?
Did you understand the truths He was teaching through the use of the parables?
Well, let's find out! So, stop now and read the parables in Mark 2:18-21.
-------Pause while you do this assignment------
? How many parables did Jesus use in this passage?
Circle your answer........1......2 .......3........4 .......... Not Sure
First, let's look at what Jesus was teaching when He spoke of the Bridegroom
and his guests.
? Who is the Bridegroom?
? What is Jesus referring to when He says the bridegroom will be taken away from
? Who are the guests of the bridegroom?
? Why are they not fasting now but reportedly will fast when the bridegroom is
taken from them?
Now, looking at the second parable in this passage, the Parable concerning the
unshrunk cloth and the old garment:
? What does the old garment represent?
? What does the unshrunk cloth represent?
You noticed that Jesus then told why you can't sew a patch of new /
unshrunk cloth on an old garment. He said that the new piece would pull away
from the old and make the tear worse. Does this make sense to you? Can you picture
this happening today in some clothing you are trying to mend? Explain this
in your own words.
Surely Jesus is NOT giving sewing lessons ! So, What is the point that Jesus was
trying to teach. Before you answer that, let s first look at the particulars:
? What does the old garment represent?
? What does the tear in the old garment represent?
? What does the unshrunk cloth represent?
? So, and now here is THE long awaited question -- What IS Jesus teaching
in this parable / illustration?
Continuing on. In Mark 2:22, Christ uses another parable as an illustration
and explanation. It sounds remarkably similar to the parable in verse 21. Do you
think that Jesus is teaching a different truth or is He using another parable to
teach the same truth?
Circle your answer:........Teaching same truth............. Teaching different
truth ............. Not Sure
? What do the old wineskins represent?
? What does the new wine represent?
? In real life why would pouring new wine into old wineskins cause the
old wineskins to burst?
Now, for all you tea-toters out there, if you don't know the answer to
that question, not to worry, for later, when you are allowed to check your reference
books and commentaries, this will be explained for you. But, don't peek yet. If you
can't answer that technical question about the effects of fermentation of wine (hint
hint), just leave it blank. You'll get the answer then.
But, for now, let's look at what Jesus was teaching in this illustration. And,
yes, He is teaching the same basic truth that He just taught in verse 21 about The
old garment and the new /unshrunk cloth. The concept He is teaching is so basic and
essential that He used back to back illustrations / parables to teach it. This is
a key concept and He wanted to be sure that His disciples (and we) understood it.
So, He taught it twice by using 2 different Parables with the same point.
You have also already observed that Jesus is comparing the old garment and the old
wineskins to the Mosaic rules and laws of the Old Testament -- and He is comparing
the unshrunk cloth and the new wine to the new principles that He (Jesus) has brought
and is teaching.
? Why does Jesus say that the old garment has a tear in it? What does this mean?
? Why would new wine (the principles Christ is teaching) cause old wineskins to
? Does this explain why Christ says to put new wine into new wineskins instead
of into old ones which have already been stretched to their limit?
your answer ..............YES .............. NO
Now ... Explain why you answered as you did.
Ok! Great! Stop now and turn to your reference books and see what additional
insight and information, if any, you can learn concerning these 3 parables. For example,
one source I used, Liberty Bible Commentary, Volume 2, explained the parables about
the garment and wineskins in this way:
"The illustrations about the new cloth and the new wine present a principle
to which fasting may be related. A patch of new cloth has not previously been shrunk,
and therefore would pull the old garment apart. Conversely, new wine expands as it
ages and an old wine sack would have already reached its limit. Under the context
of the ancient system, the Old Testament law, limitations had been reached, but Christ
brought principles that stretched these. For instance, a murder in the Old Testament
is physical, but Jesus said that a man can murder by hating."
Ok, now it is your turn. Check your resources and see what else you can learn
or confirm. Remember to take notes.
--------Pause while you do this assignment---------
Great! I see you have finished (or perhaps you never started. Oh well.
That is your decision. Whatever.) Now, let's look at some more parables in Mark
which we have previously also flown by. Turn now to Mark 3:23-27. There
are some really short one-liner parables listed in these verses. In fact,
these are so brief that you might argue that they are not parables at all, but, rather,
are comparisons. And, I wouldn t fault you if that is your opinion. But, since Mark
said in 3:23, "...So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables ...
", let's at least look at these verses and see what the comparisons or parables
So, stop now and read Mark 3:20-27.
---------Pause while you do this assignment--------
You have recalled that Jesus is using these comparisons / parables to answer
the accusations that He was doing miracles and deeds by the power of Beelzebub (Satan).
Instead of just simply saying, No, that is not true, Jesus tried to illustrate WHY
it was not only not true but impossible and unreasonable for Him to be getting His
power from Beelzebub (Satan). So, in the space below, list and explain the
points that Jesus made in these one-liner parables to refute the charges and accusations
being made against him.
? What, then, could NOT be the source of Jesus power? _____________________________
? Why could Beelzebub (Satan) NOT be the source?
? What, then, is Jesus indicating IS the REAL source of His power? (Ie, if
His power is not from the devil, where must it come from?)
? What, then, is Jesus claiming about Himself?
? What, then, is one of the main reasons that Jesus is doing the miracles,
healings, and casting out of demons? Answer this question by completing the following
Jesus is doing these miracles, etc. to prove that
Great! Good thinking and reasoning! Now, let's call it quits for today. And, until
we continue tomorrow, meditate upon what you ve learned so far this week about Who
Jesus is, what He does and why, and what these parables have taught us!
Well, for 4 sections, we've studied about parables and looked at several of the
many parables which Jesus used in His teaching. So, as we bring this lesson to a
close, let's begin by first reminding yourself:
? What, briefly, is a parable?
? Why did Jesus often teach important truths by using parables?
Since we have looked at so many parables this week, let's summarize what they
were and what we learned from them by, you guessed it, filling in another chart!
Oh, goodie, another chart !!! I can hear you just rejoicing in delight ! : )
You will need to make this chart for yourself. So get a blank piece of paper and
title the chart with the clever, original, title of (are you ready for this?) --
PARABLES IN THE BOOK OF MARK. Then make 6 columns and title these columns as noted
in the illustration below:
Parables in the Book of Mark
Name of Parable / Scripture Location / Brief summary / Main point / What is Jesus
teaching? /Application for me!
------Pause while you make your chart ------
Ok, I see you have made your chart! Great! Now, by way of review and summarization
of what we have studied this week, fill in the chart. Don't forget the parables
we studied in Chapters 2 and 3. In fact, go on and begin with the parables
in Chapters 2 and 3. Then do the ones in Chapter 4. And, knowing that there
are more parables in later chapters of this gospel, keep your eyes open for other
parables as we progress through the rest of this course. Whenever you find
another parable, add it to this chart. Don't wait for me to tell you. I might
(gasp) forget to tell you ! So, be alert for parables and add them when you find
OK! You've got your assignment. Get the chart, review the parables, and fill in
the columns with the information requested.
------Pause while you do this assignment--------
Great! You ve finished again. As you reviewed the parables, did one stand out
as being especially meaningful to you? If so, in the space below, or on a separate
piece of paper, write what that parable was and what it was that was especially enlightening,
informative, or meaningful to you. Then, thank the Holy Spirit for having revealed
this to you.
Ok! ONE MORE THING and then we ll be finished. And this is an OPTIONAL
ASSIGNMENT because you may not really want to know or may not have the time.
But, if you do have the time and the interest, I know that some of you have perhaps
wondered just what it is that Jesus means when He speaks about the KINGDOM OF GOD.
So, if you, like I , are wondering about this, then join me as we briefly
examine this subject. Notice that I said briefly and I really mean it, because this
subject could be an entire course in itself. So, all we want to do now is try to
get a general idea of what Jesus means when He refers to the Kingdom of God.
For those of you who want to do this OPTIONAL ASSIGNMENT, let's begin by first
reading in Mark all the references to the Kingdom of God. (I will list them for you
in a minute). As you read the following passages, every time you come to the
phrase THE KINGDOM OF GOD or any word or phrase which is used in place of that phrase,
mark it. I marked mine by putting a purple box around the phrase. Of course,
you can mark it in any way you wish. After all, since we are not putting new patches
onto old garments, we don t have to be legalistic about this, do we? : )
Ok, are you ready? Here are the passages for you to read. I may have missed a
few references in Mark, but I did find the Kingdom of God mentioned in the following
Mark 1:14-15 Mark 11:10 * (see note below)
Mark 4:10-12 Mark 12:28-34
Mark 4:26-29 Mark 15:43
Mark 4:30-32 Mark 10:13-16
Also read (this is NOT an exhaustive list):
* Concerning Mark 11:10. Is the Kingdom referred to in Mark ll 10 the same Kingdom
as the Kingdom of God? If so, mark it and explain why you marked it. If not, don't
mark it and explain why you didn t.
------ Pause while you do this OPTIONAL assignment -------
OK, now, based on what you have read and observed, answer the following questions:
? Is the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 3:1-2, Matthew 5:1-3, and in Luke 6:20
the same as the Kingdom of God? Before you answer this, here is an important
FYI (for your information) fact. FYI, these 3 passages in Matthew and Luke are only
3 of MANY references in Matthew and Luke which speak of the Kingdom of heaven. For
sake of time, and to make the point, you only read these 3, but, if you want to read
the others before you answer this question, please feel free to do so. Simply get
out your concordance, look up the word, Kingdom, and find their locations and read
away. Now, assuming you have arrived at your conclusion, let me ask you again,
Is the Kingdom of Heaven which is referred to in Matthew and Luke and in many other
places in the Bible, the SAME as the Kingdom of God ?
Circle your answer YES NO
Explain your answer:
? Why would Matthew prefer to use the term Kingdom of Heaven instead of Kingdom
of God , assuming that they are synonymous (ie. The same)? (Hint: before you
answer, remember the AUDIENCE to which Matthew and Mark were each mainly writing
and the PURPOSE of their gospels.)
Great! Now, if you want to check your answers and learn more about the Kingdom
of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, it is OK to now turn to your references. And, as
a helpful word from one who has been there, done that , for his particular search,
you ll probably get more complete and in one location information from a source such
as a Bible Dictionary than you will from a commentary. So check your sources and
take any pertinent notes.
------Pause while you check your Bible Dictionaries and other sources -------
Well, I see you ve finished checking your sources. And for you and for
those of you who bypassed this optional assignment concerning the Kingdom of God,
let's all end this study for this section and this lesson by thanking God for caring
enough to teach us these things about Himself, His parables, and His Kingdom.
Until the next lesson !
References cited in this lesson:
Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, by Lawrence O. Richards. Page 477.
1985. By Zondervan Corp. Grand Rapids Michigan.
Word Pictures in the N.T. Vol
1 ...By A.T. Robertson. Pages 101-102 in the Gospel according to Matthew. 1930
by SS Board of SBC, 6 volume set. Baker Book House. Grand Rapids Michigan.
Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith L.L.D. 1979. Page 481-482. Royal Publishers
Inc. Nashville Tn.
Nelson s Illustrated Bible Dictionary. General editor
Herbert Lockyer, Sr. Pages 798-800. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986. Nashville. Camden.
Liberty Bible Commentary, Volume 2. Page 106. Copyright 1962
by the Old Time Gospel Hour. Lynchburg, Virginia.
© 1996 "Yes Lord" MinistriesBible Studies Net / "Yes Lord" Ministries
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