Pray: To open your time together.
Read: Mark 4:1-34
- In verses 1-8, Jesus teaches that a farmer seems to be scattering his seed indiscriminately. Some on the path, some on the rocks, some among thorns. Finally, the farmer does hit his target on good soil, which produces a crop.
What is the significance of the farmer in this story?
What does the seed represent and what is the significance that it is so widely spread, even if not taking root?
How do we know if we are “the good soil” or not? What can we do to tend to our heart so they might be good soil for the Word?
- In verse 9-13, Jesus makes a distinction between “insiders” and “outsiders”. Ironically, according to Jesus, the outsiders are the religious people who think they are the insiders, and the insiders (Jesus’ followers) are those who are considered outsiders by the culture around them.
What does Jesus’ distinction between these two groups of people (insiders and outsiders) tell us about what matters to Jesus?
Jesus puts a particular emphasis on skill of “hearing” (v. 9). Don’t we all have ears to hear? Not spiritually, it would seem. How do we develop ears to hear what God is saying and doing?
- In verse 14-20, Jesus graciously explains the parable to his disciples. Read through each of the scenarios Jesus describes and humbly ask yourself: Where does my heart reside in this story? All these scenarios are temptations and challenges we experience as humans. What is Jesus’ calling us to? How will that require faith in Him and His work on the cross?
This parable centers around a farmer who is generously spreading seed on all types of soil. What might this tell us about the generosity of God toward us?
Spend some time praying for one another. If the soil of our hearts has grown hard, pray for a softening through the Holy Spirit. Pray for each person in your group to have a heart that is ready to receive what God has for them that we all might produce a good crop in this world.