Mark 4:1 ¶ And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
This was all the crowd heard out of that parable. Jesus purposely left them in the dark. If we just had this we wouldn’t have a clue what we were talking about. Jesus gives more truth only to those who want more truth. Those who don’t really want more truth will be deceived. This parable is also spoken in Matthew 13:1-23.
Mark 4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
Those who wanted to know came to Him to know more.
1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 ¶ Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
The Old Testament Jews didn’t understand about the future as in Isaiah 53 because it was given to Isaiah for the sake of those who would come later who wanted the truth. This is why they weren’t looking forward to the cross. They didn’t understand it. Their hearts were hardened and they were not given the whole story.
Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
To these people who want the truth God promises to give more truth. Read your Bible once through and God will give you truth. Read it through multiple times and you’ll keep growing as He gives you more truth. Later on we’ll see that if you reject what little truth He has given you, He’ll take away what little you have. There will be a great test for Christians. The more you read the greater the challenge will be when Satan attacks you with unbelief. The closer you get to God, the deeper the mud, the thicker the briars. The Christian must keep pushing through toward the goal of knowing God and ignore Satan’s pleas and attacks and his deceptions. This is not about salvation but about your sanctification, being set apart for God’s purpose through Jesus Christ.
Many people who get deceived start out with the right intention but one little twist of the truth takes them far off the mark. Just be after God’s truth and what is right, and plead with Him not to let you be deceived or to deceive others which was one of the prayers of the translators of this Bible.
Mark 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
Deuteronomy 29:4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.
Isaiah 6:9 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Isaiah 44:18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.
Jeremiah 5:21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
If you reject salvation and truth then God will deceive you. Yes, our Creator will deceive men who reject His salvation. God examines the heart and what happens after that is up to Him if you are worshipping self. I have been to a few church services that were humanistic in execution and were self worship. God will propound that foolishness which serves only Satan by deluding those self worshippers.
Mark 4:13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
This indicates that the sower and the seed is a foundational parable which is the key to understanding all the parables.
Mark 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
The word of God is perfect and there is no lacking in it. Any failure is not due to the sower or the word.
Mark 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
These are the people who are so argumentative they aren’t really interested in hearing God’s truth.
Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
A lot of lost people will get really interested in the hope that the gospel presents especially if their life has been trashed by sin.
Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
These people aren’t saved because they have no “root in themselves”.
Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
The root is Christ. These people don’t have the root and will not accept Christ. Their hearts are hard as rocks in reality in spite of their interest and initial enthusiasm. Herod is a type of this curious “seeker”.
Mark 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
These people hear the word but get battered by worries, materialism and greed, sin and covetousness placed in front of them, but the word in them gets choked out of its fruitfulness. He doesn’t grow. He might be saved but he will stay a baby all of his life as a Christian. Demas is a type of this saved soul with no fruit.
2Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
It is very hard to get a rich man saved. It takes a lot of time to take care of money and it takes a lot of concern. The more stressful and busy your life is the harder it is to get you to bear fruit for Christ.
Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
This is not for you to make a comparison with other people. But, if you are bearing fruit, and this isn’t about numbers in getting souls led to Christ. It’s not a sales job or a numbers game. Here’s some fruit that you will bear if you are a fruitbearing Christians and it’s not about how many people you got to say “1-2-3 repeat after me, I’m saved.”
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
My wife, Beth, corresponds the thirtyfold to the first three fruits of the Spirit which God gives to you when you are first saved. The sixty corresponds to the next three which are how He teaches you to deal with other people, and the last three correspond to the hundred in how you grow towards God.
Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
When you start bearing fruit, people will get saved. But, when you start bearing fruit, in order to get you to bear more, God will prune you. This might hurt. God took several things I liked very much away from me, not by any outside agent, but he took them out of my heart. He pruned me. There have been other things as well. But, what I have gotten in return has been much more precious.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.