Last week we looked at the first of four parables in Mark's gospel, and today we look at the other three. All of these parables are related ideas that give instruction on how we are to live in the Kingdom of God. Mark continues to use the phrase "if anyone has ears to hear, let him hear". Jesus is telling those listening to not only hear, but do something with what you hear.
The Kingdom has GLOW
The Parable of A Lamp Under a Basket:
A single lamp can light up a room and give light to a dark place. Why would anyone want to light a lamp and then cover it up? Jesus represents the light in this parable, and the light has purpose. (John 12:46; John 1:4, 9; John 8:12) He shines His light through us. (Matt 5:14-16) We do not have a light until we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and then we are to "glow" for the world. When we receive the light, we don't cover it up, or we become ineffective. Instead, we are to give away the light.
The Kingdom has a SLOW GROW
The Parable of the Growing Seed:
We live in an instantaneous society where we want things fast and on our timeframe. In this parable, Jesus is comparing the Kingdom to a seed that germinates. We can't make it happen, but we can watch the miracle unfold. It's our job to plant the seed and nurture it. God does the work in His time and in His way.
The Kingdom has a BLOW UP GROW
The Parable of the Mustard Seed:
The mustard seed is the smallest of the seeds, yet it produces a massive 10-foot bush that can become invasive as it spreads. God is in control of history and the Kingdom of God will be consummated in the future, when the harvest has come (Mark 4:29). The greater point is that the Kingdom of God arises from obscurity and insignificance and from a place that no one would imagine. God's reign will not only be more real than the world can imagine, but it will also be larger and more encompassing.
Discuss as a Family:
- When is a time that you asked yourself the question, "are you there Lord" or "is this all worth it"?
- What is a situation in your life that you had to wait for something? What was the outcome?
- We live in a Kingdom that is moving forward, but we can't always see it. What are the disciplines in your walk with Jesus that help you to be faithful, even when you can't see Him working?
- Spend time thanking God for His Truth and His provision in your life. Thank Him for those that have prayed for you in years past, and take a minute to pray for those that are coming behind you.
- How do these parables encourage you?