The Teaching About the Kingdom of God in the Parables of Mark’s Gospel
Jesus’ message from the beginning of Mark’s Gospel is:
“The right time has come and the Kingdom of God is near! Turn away
from your sin and believe the Good News”
The announcement of the Kingdom of God is the most important topic of
the whole Gospel. For entrance into the Kingdom of God, you must
repent. Doing this means a person has to completely change his or her
life. The religious leaders of the time did not believe this. While
the tax-collectors and sinners saw him to give them another chance and
his teaching also gave them hope for another better world.
There are four main parables that talk about the Kingdom of God in
* The Parable of the Sower (4:1-9, 13-20)
* The Parable of the Lamp (4:21-25)
* The Parable of the Seed Growing Secretly (4:26-29
* The Parable of the Mustard Seed (4:30-32)
The Parable of the Sower
The parable of the sower is one of the most well known of all
parables. The seed in this parable is falling on all different types
of soil: the footpath, rocky ground, among thistles, and on fertile
soil. At first sight, this can look as though it’s careless farming.
The thistles seem to be the result of bad farming. This is, however,
looking at the agricultural method used 2000 years ago from our modern
stand point. But, this is not the best way to understand the parable.
The parable will only make sense looking at it against the
agricultural system followed in Palestine at that time. In each type
of soil something different happened:
* a path- the birds came and ate it up
* rocky places, where there wasn’t much soil- it sprang up quickly,
because the soil was shallow, but when the sun came up, the plants
were scorched, and they wiltered because they had no root.
* among thorns- grew up and choked the plants, so they did not bear
* in good soil- it came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying
These four different kinds of soil represent four different kinds of
people, they are:
* the irresponsible hearer- Satan carries off the word giving the
person no chance to respond
* the shallow hearer- the person who has no roots, lacking depth and
* the worldly hearer- the person who is seduced by the pleasures of
* the responsive hearer- the person who, living a life of faith,
obtains depths, according to his faith.
The meaning of the parable today
The parable of the sower is still relevant today. There have been many
times in history when Christianity has faced difficult times.
Sometimes it has been persecution or suppression. Other times it has
been treated with apathy. Throughout all these difficulties the