Jesus, Master Story Teller

The Gospel of Mark is an action-packed Gospel. It’s kind of the newspaper edition of the record of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Mark doesn’t spend a lot of time on the detailed teaching of Jesus except in chapter 4, and once again in chapter 13. There are other sections of teaching scattered throughout, but not nearly to the degree of the other three Gospels.

As we continue our summer series on the Gospel of Mark we come to one of the more wonderful and memorable teachings of Jesus. It helps us to persevere in “sowing the seed of the gospel” when we live in a time and culture that is so resistant to it.

May God help us to sow gospel seeds and trust the Word and the Spirit to produce a great harvest!

Jesus teaches in P_____________ (Mark 4:1-9)

His parables bring T__________ , R__________ and D__________ (Mark 4:10-12) *Isaiah 6:9-10

His parables explain Kingdom R_____________ (Mark 4:13-20)

  • The sower (4:13)
  • The seed (4:13)
  • The soils (4:14-20)

“But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold” – Mark 4:20

Main Idea: Faithfully sow gospel seeds and trust the Word and Spirit to produce fruit


Good teaching gathers a crowd. Though many are attracted to Jesus, some hate his message and his family thinks he’s lost his mind. Close friends are confused. Are you attracted to the teaching of Jesus? Why or why not?

Read Mark 4:1-9. Where is Jesus? To whom is he speaking? What is a “parable”? Why did Jesus use parables at this time in his ministry, rather than more direct teaching? What was farming like in first-century rural Palestine? Where did the seed fall and what was the result?

What did Jesus mean by what he said in Mark 4:9?


Read Mark 4:10-12. How did those closest to Jesus respond to parables (4:10)? How did the crowd respond? What does Jesus mean by “the secret of the Kingdom” (4:11)? Why did Jesus explain his “secret” only to his disciples and not to the crowds in general? Is this fair?

Jesus quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 in Mark 4:12 (read Isaiah 6:1-13 for context). What did God tell Isaiah and how is it relevant to Jesus’ preaching of the Kingdom?

Read Mark 4:13-20. Who is the “sower”? If the farmer sows “the word” (4:14), to what specific “word” is Jesus referring? Since this parable is the key to understanding the other parables (4:13), what is the main idea upon which all the other Kingdom parables elaborate?


According to Jesus, what are obstacles in the first three soils which prevent people from accepting the gospel (4:14-19)? How might these words be a warning to Christians too? What thorns have cropped up in your life which threaten to choke out spiritual growth?

The good news of God’s Kingdom comes and people either accept it or reject it. How should we relate to someone who refuses to believe in Christ after we have witnessed to them? What did you learn from Ryan and Catie Jonas regarding their seed sowing work with college students?  

Assignment: Memorize Mark 4:20. The growth of the seed depends on the quality of the soil of your heart. Talk with your group about the ways the word bears fruit in your life and the life of your friends. Pray that Stonebridge will see spiritual growth as we proclaim the gospel.

Join us for Serve Day! on Saturday, July 20th from 9:00 AM – Noon at ASAC Heart of Iowa

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