Mark 4 – The Kingdom of God is Like… – The Gospels

Gospel of Mark OnlineJesus again began to teach by the sea; and, as an immense crowd was gathering round him, he got into a boat, and sat in it on the sea, while all the people were on the shore at the water’s edge. 2 Then he taught them many truths in parables; and in the course of his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! The sower went out to sow; 4 And while sowing, some of the seed fell along the path; and the birds came, and ate it up.

5 Some fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and, having no depth of soil, sprang up at once; 6 But, when the sun rose, it was scorched, and, having no root, withered away. 7 Some of the seed fell among brambles; but the brambles shot up and completely choked it, and it yielded no return. 8 Some fell into good soil, and, shooting up and growing, yielded a return, amounting to thirty, sixty, and even a hundred fold.” 9 And Jesus said: “Let anyone who has ears to hear with hear.”

10 Afterwards, when he was alone, his followers and the twelve asked him about his parables; 11 And he said: “To you the hidden truth of the kingdom of God has been imparted; but to those on the outside, teaching takes the form of parables, 12 That ‘though they have eyes, they may see without perceiving; and though they have ears, they may hear without understanding; lest some day they should turn and be forgiven.'” 13 He then went on to ask them: “Do you not know the meaning of this parable? Then how will you understand all the other parables? 14 The sower sows the message.”

15 “The people meant by the seed that falls along the path are those where the message is sown, but, as soon as they have heard it, Satan immediately comes and carries away the message that has been sown in them. 16 So, too, those meant by the seed sown on the rocky places are the people who, when they have heard the message, at once accept it joyfully; 17 But, as they have no root, they stand only for a short time; and so, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the message, they fall away at once.”

18 “Those meant by the seed sown among the brambles are different; they are the people who hear the message, 19 But the cares of life, and the glamour of wealth, and cravings for many other things come in and completely choke the message, so that it gives no return. 20 But the people meant by the seed sown on the good ground are those who hear the message, and welcome it, and yield a return, thirty, sixty, and even a hundred fold.”

21 And Jesus said to them: “Is a candle brought to be put under a blanket or under a couch, instead of being put on candlestick? 22 Nothing is hidden unless some day it comes to light, nor was anything ever kept hidden but that it should some day come into the light of day.1 23 Let all who have ears to hear with hear.”

24 “Take care what you listen to,” said Jesus. “The measure you mete will be meted out to you, and more will be added for you. 25 For, to those who have, more will be given; while, from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” 26 Jesus also said: “This is what the kingdom of God is like: like a farmer who has scattered seed on the ground, 27 And then sleeps by night and rises by day, while the seed is shooting up and growing, he knows not how.2 28 The ground bears the crop of itself: first the blade, then the ear, and then the full grain in the ear; 29 But, as soon as the crop is ready, immediately he puts in the sickle because harvest has come.”

30 Jesus also said: “To what can we liken the kingdom of God? 31 By what can we illustrate it? Perhaps by the growth of a mustard-seed. This seed, when sown in the ground, though it is smaller than all other seeds, 32 Yet, when sown, shoots up, and becomes larger than any other herb, and puts out great branches, so that even ‘the wild birds can roost in its shelter.'”3 33 With many such parables Jesus used to speak to the people of his message, as far as they were able to receive it; 34 And to them he never used to speak except in parables; but in private to his own disciples he explained everything.

35 In the evening of the same day, Jesus said to them: “Let us go across.” 36 So, leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. 37 A violent squall came on, and the waves kept crashing into the boat, so that the boat was actually filling. 38 Jesus was in the stern asleep upon the cushion; and the disciples roused him and cried: “Teacher! Is it nothing to you that we are lost?”

39 Jesus rose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea: “Hush! Be still!” Then the wind dropped, and a great calm followed. 40 “Why are you so timid?” he exclaimed. “Have you no faith yet?” 41 But they were struck with great awe, and said to one another: “Who can this be that even the wind and the sea obey him?”


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To read Chapter 5 of the Book of Mark, please go to: My Name is Legion. Browse the entire Book of Mark here: Gospel of Mark.

  1. Read Biblical discussion of this passage from the Gospel of Mark, including how it relates to the kingdom of God at: On Earth as it is in Heaven Meaning. []
  2. Visit As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us to read commentary on the farmer & seed parable and its relationship to the Lord’s Prayer. []
  3. Explore the Living Hour’s commentary on the parable of the mustard seed and the nature of the Kingdom of God at: Thy Kingdom Come Meaning. []

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