Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lent Day 9 - Mark 4:1-20

Jesus' parable of the gracious sower. I title this parable different than most. Most make this parable of Jesus about soils and the types of soils analogous to our response to Jesus. While that's not wrong, I think it misses the main point. To me this parable is about the reckless way in which the sower spreads his precious seed. As well, in the Old Testament God's people were often imaged as a field or garden and God was the one who harvested it. For example, check out Isaiah 5:1-7.
So far reaction to Jesus from His family and the religious leaders has been less than warm. How might that explain why Jesus doesn't want some to fully understand His message just yet? (vv. 11-12) What were the people's expectation of the coming Kingdom? How was Jesus' inauguration of the Kingdom looking different than their expectations?
In an agricultural time when seeds were precious, what seems odd about where this sower puts his seed? Instead of being purely about us, how might this parable be interpreting the way Israel has responded to God? Should be responding to God now? In the future?
How can our preconceived notions of God get in the way of our discipleship? Of how we evangelize the world?
What distinguishes the one good soil from the man bad types of soil?
What are the causes of the soil not flourishing? What keeps the Kingdom from flourishing today?
What do you think Jesus is implying by the fact that the seed on good soil reproduces, 30, 60, 100 fold?

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