Read Mark 4

Highlights:

Jesus' parables; storm stilled; legions of devils cast out; Jairus' daughter raised.

The Kingdom of God . . . . is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds . . . it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs (Mark 4:30-32).

In the parable of the seed and the sower, the field is the world and the good seed are the children of the Kingdom. Matthew introduces the tares who represent what appear to be converts to Christ who meet with true Christians (Matt 13:25-40).

The first parable implies the importance of hearing and receiving the Word and producing a harvest. But the second one reveals the counterfeit, led by evil motives, who joins with true believers but cannot produce spiritual fruit. Sadly three parts of the good seed are lost.

The third parable which describes The Kingdom of God . . . . like a grain of mustard seed (4:30-31) is intended to build faith in the ultimate outcome of His Kingdom.

The seed will continue to grow and reproduce, and will become immensely successful, and all . . . the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Is.11:9). The beginning is very insignificant like a grain of mustard seed (Mark 4:31). It is a prophecy of the gradual spreading of the Kingdom throughout the world. The King of the Kingdom began as a mere babe in a manger who died on the cross with only a handful of followers. Then 120 believers met in an upper room and were filled with the Holy Spirit and in a few days thousands had received Him and were baptized (Acts 2:38-41). Today, millions have acknowledged Him as Savior and Lord. The least of all seeds becometh greater than all herbs (Mark 4:32).

Without a doubt, the Israelites in Jesus' time were looking for a Messiah who would overthrow the Roman empire. And once again, give them the freedom and the preeminence the Kingdom had enjoyed under David, as was foretold by the prophets (II Samuel 7:16; Isaiah 9:6-7; Zechariah 6:12-13). But they had not recognized the prophecy that the Messiah would come first to build a spiritual Kingdom.

The mustard seed foretells the eventual greatness of the Kingdom which will be seen by all as foretold: After these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God . . . . And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:1,16).

Thought for Today:

The Lord may delay His rescue in the storms of our lives to more fully develop our faith in Him.

Cross Reference:

For Mark 4:12: See Is. 6:9-10; Jer. 5:21; Ezek. 12:2.

Word Studies:

4:24 mete, measure out, give to others; 5:19 suffered him not, did not permit him.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. Steve R. Rothman (NJ) • Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects • Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism • 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for national revival, for righteousness exalts a nation (Prov. 14:34).

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 139:7-8