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Daily Bible Reading (Tuesday, February 13th)


Mark 4 (ESV)


The Parable of the Sower

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

The Purpose of the Parables

10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that

“‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
    and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”

13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.[a] 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 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.”

A Lamp Under a Basket

21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

The Parable of the Seed Growing

26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

Jesus Calms a Storm

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”


  1. Mark 4:17 Or stumble


I really enjoyed your comment, Kelly.

Jesus shows his people the parables and not the others, because God knows his own and loves them since the beginning of time. God makes a distinction between those that are lost and harden and those that are broken of heart. Reaching those that are hurting is what Jesus is looking for.

If Jesus says the boat is going to the other side, then it is going to the other side. Why would we not believe Him? How often do we do that - not believe the clear statements of Jesus and, as a result, we get fearful. If Jesus says there is good soil for the seed of the word out there, then there is good soil out there. We often act like there is nothing but bad soil so why even try to spread the seed? Praying that my faith would grow and I would be more bold in spreading the seed.

Theme summary: Jesus taught what the effects of the Gospel are through parables. Many hearers will not have hearts ready to receive the word and bear fruit, but the one who does receive it cannot keep it hidden. The one who receives it and produces life/faith/fruit will be given more life/faith/fruit, but the one who does not will lose even what he has. The growing of the word in a person is a mysterious work of God, but when fruit appears it is immediately harvested by God and not wasted. The kingdom of God starts with one small seed, but grows massively. After all these teachings on faith and its fruit, Jesus demonstrates his power over nature and rebukes the disciples lack of faith.

Thoughts: The parable of the Seed Growing (4:26-29) is not one I have given much thought to, but it seems to speak to the work of God in mysteriously growing faith in a persons heart, that person bearing the fruit of faith, and God not letting that fruit go to waste. It is immediately harvested and kept secure, demonstrating the grace of God in securing believers by faith.

I often think what I have to bring to the ear of an unbeliever is too inadequate, too small, too infantile. But the parable of the mustard seed reminds me that even the smallest measure of faith can and will bear fruit when scattered. Yes, I am inadequate and my understanding is small compared to our holy God, but God himself is saying that it is enough to grow his kingdom. He works in amazing ways, I pray I allow myself to share even what I consider small knowing that God will make it grow.

When the storm came, the disciples were afraid. When they saw the power of the living God displayed, they "were filled with great fear". For sinful men, It was more frightening to be in the presence of God than to be threatened by a storm. This passage reminds me of the awesome power of our Savior and how I should be always amazed.

The parable of the sower really stood out to me in today's reading. I pray that those I am sharing Christ with would truly respond to the gospel and be the rich soil.

In the parable of the soil’s, I don’t know if I had ever noticed Christ’s exclamation to “Listen to this!“ in verse three. Father, may we be attentive as you give us ears to hear. In this same parable, there is growth in three out of four soils, but growth means nothing without fruit! This goes back to Pastor Blakey’s sermon Sunday night: unless we are discipling others (bearing fruit), we are disobeying Jesus Christ. Father, may we hear and obey.

"but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful."

How easy it is to fall into this trap. Praying for strength to persevere by faith through all sorts of circumstances. This passage is about the unconverted man, but the converted, I think, can identify with the temptation to let this world distract us from our real purpose. I know his grace is sufficient for us.

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