God’s Ways are Not Like Ours
Read Mark 4:1-20
- How does Jesus begin teaching in this passage? What reason does he give for using this method?
- Who does Jesus explain the parable to? Why does he explain it to them, and not others?
- What is the meaning of the parable, according to Jesus?
- Who do the different soils represent?
- How should we respond to the fact that different people will receive the Word differently? Should that affect or change the way that we teach Scripture? Why or why not?
- Should we teach in parables?
- What do the disciples need in order to understand Jesus’ teaching? How should that affect the way we think about our (or others) ability to understand the gospel?
Read Mark 4:21-34
- What does the parable about the lamp (21-25) say about Jesus’ teaching? Does he want to hide the truth, according to this?
- Who is blamed for their lack of understanding?
- What does the parable of the growing seed (v26-29) teach about the kingdom of God? How does the kingdom grow? Who makes the kingdom grow?
- What does the parable of the mustard seed (v30-32) teach about the kingdom of God? What size does the kingdom start at? Is that the size it will end at?
- The last two verses conclude this teaching section. Who is Jesus teaching in parables to? Who does he explain them to?
- What is the relationship between these three short parables and the first one (v1-20)? What do these explain about the first one?
- Are these parables encouraging to you? Why or why not?
- How should these parables shape the way we think about the growth God’s kingdom? Should that affect the way we live, or share the gospel, or pray?
- What does this teach us about how we should approach the Bible, if we want to understand it?
- In light of this passage, how should we respond when it seems as though the kingdom is not growing?