The gospel of Mark is above all is concerned with Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of God. In this chapter he teaches about the Kingdom of God using parables. Take some time and read the entire chapter. Talk about each of the parables, what do you observe and what they may have meant to the people first hearing them.
• Parable about the Sower and the Soil
• Parable about the Lamp
• Parable of the Growing Seed
• Parable of the Mustard Seed
Why do you think Jesus used parables to teach the realitiy of the Kingdom of God?
The Bible has many texts and passages that can be very difficult to explain. 4:11 is one of these. Jesus tells his disciples that the “secret of the kingdom of God” has been given to them but not to everyone else. What makes this difficult is that Mark does not tell us what this “secret” is. However, the secret is hidden within the parables. Take some time and make a list of all the attributes of the kingdom of God that these parables aim to identify.
Finally, in the parable about growing seed there seems to be some mystery as to why the seeds sprouted and grew. Throughout time some people got it and understood the gospel that Jesus is proclaiming. Others have not. Why is this? And what might be some things you can do to help bring about understanding to others?