MARK 4:1-9

Mark 4:1-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Parable of the Sower

1 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea.

2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:

3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.

4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it.

5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have 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 seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.

8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Dr. Gough:

"People Need The Lord," is 4 lovely, popular song.

--I first heard it sung by Marsha and Terry Stewart.

--It was years ago, but I will never forget it.

--"When will they realize ..people need the Lord."

--It comes to mind as I read Mark 4:1-9, of Jesus.

--Of the Sower, the Seed, and the Soils, He told.

It reminds me of my friend in West Virginia, with a large garden of vegetables, a credit to the area.

--He had our Men's Fellowship to a yearly corn fest.

--He showed me all around. I said, "It is lovely!"

--"What a fine, productive garden the Lord has given you, with fruits to share!"

--He replied, "You should have seen it when the Lord had it all by Himself!" Folks,we need each other.

--We need the Lord. The Lord needs us, at our best.

Look at Mark 4 in your Bibles. It has some parables.

--Here it is the Sower - Jesus; the Seed, the Gospel; and the Soils, -which is the hearts of the people.

--It is also found in Matthew 13, and Luke 8.

It was given "to a multitude .. by the sea in a ship."

--Jesus often taught, using many common things, like fishing, vines, salt, light, bread, and water.

--"He taught them many thinks by parables" (v 2).

--What is a parable? A parable is an earthly story.

--But an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

--A spiritual lesson, easy to understand, by all.

Like "fields white unto harvest," for farmers.

--Of "houses built on rock or sand," to builders.

--Of "salt and light," to busy housewives and others.

--Common trades back then were farms and flocks.

--These are still familiar sights in the Holy Lands.

--There was no machinery. Only hand tools for use.

--It was hard work. But its put food on the table.

Jesus said, "Listen! A sower went out to sow" (3).

--To scatter seed. By hand, sort of broadcast.

--The Sower and Seed are the same. God never varies.

--The harvest depends on the receptivity of hearts.

A preacher or teacher is sort of like a "sower."

--As Jesus-, Who is The Sower - God, in a human body.

--He humbled Himself. But is still God, the Sower.

--The Seed is the Word. "The field" is the world.

--Our "field" happens to be right where we are now.

--It begins here, but it also reaches over the world.

--My friend, notice it is the "world." The unsaved.

--For the most part, the church folk sow the seed.

Some may think, "God is God .. He's Almighty. Surely God doesn't need our help. Besides, its a minister's job - not ours." Actually, it's all believer's job.

--True, "God is God; able." But in a way, "God has no hands but our hands; no feet, but our feet; and no voice, but our voice." Wants us as His ambassadors.

--As we need the Lord to save, guide, and bless us, He needs our witness, to tell what He's done for us. God needs us, friend, at our best, to win the world.

--Without folks as we, the world would be like an uncultivated farm, spiritually. "Let.. light shine."

You are somebody! Made in God's image. Redeemed.

--Loved, and converted, by Jesus Christ to witness.

--You are important. To God. In reaching others.

--Just the person God needs .. to live for Him.

God made a covenant with us, "I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Heb 8:10).

--What a partnership - God and we. Like marriage.

--We need each other, moment by moment, my friend.

--We need a Savior. We need a Guide, and Guard.

We can depend on our Heavenly Sower, and the Seed.

--These do not change. They are the same, forever.

--It is individuals - the Soils - who are variables.

--We are all different, aren't we? No two alike.

--Yet, we all have the same need .. of blessings.

--The same need of salvation .. of a Savior as Jesus.

Let's look then, at some of the soils Jesus mentions.

--The scattered Gospel seed "fell by the wayside" (4).

--"And the birds came and devoured it."

--Seed fell on the hard-beaten path .. unprepared.

--Next we read, "some fell on stony ground" (v 5).

--"It did not have much earth." But lots of rock.

--It "sprang up .. but had depth of earth."

--So what happens? ".. It soon withered away." Why?

--Because "it had no root" (6).

--Thirdly, "Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, audit yielded no crop."

—The briars and brambles, of life, weren't cleared, Ponder these three areas where the gospel seed fell.

--What's the parable? What is Jesus telling us?

--These three types of soil represent the unsaved.

--Those who hear the gospel seed, but do not obey.

--They do not accept it. Follow it. Grow in it.

--But are like the "wayside, or stony ground, or among thorns," that Jesus is telling us of.

But look! There is a fourth, in the parable.

--Thank God for some "good ground" around the world!

--"Other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop."

--This "crop that sprang , increased and produced."

--Imagine, "some thirtyfold , some sixty, and some a hundred" (v 8).

A harvest of joyful believers!

--Their hearts were prepared, ploughed, ready, eager.

--These are the folk, willing to be "born again."

--To repent. Believe. An follow Jesus, as Savior.

Did you ever count, from one kernel of corn seed, how many grains of corn, that one seed may produce?

--More than 100 times the gone kernel of corn sowed!

--So may some soul winners evangelize many converts.

--Lord, help me - and all of us - be such a one!

Jesus told His disciples too "bring forth fruit...more fruit .. and much fruit."

As degrees of fruitbearing.

--0, the simplicity, beauty, and necessity of Jesus.

--Jesus said to them..."He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (v 9). God has good things ahead for you!

Seriously, where do you, and I, stand in this story?

The amazing thing, God is a loving, forgiving God.

--God can forgive any, or all, of us — if we repent.

--God asks that we "forgive others" as God does us.

--Friend, we all need forgiveness. And give others.

--To "Let your light so shine .. among men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

Jesus used stories or parables to make it interesting.

--As simple illustrations, to help all understand.

--So those "who hunger and thirst after righteousness might be filled," to know and live the Scriptures.

People need the Lord, so we may return God's love.

--It is one of God's Commands, "Love the Lord, your God with all your heart .. soul .. and strength," we read in Deuteronomy 6:5. To emulate love in life.

--God's love in us enables us to "love one another." —Even to "love your enemies" (Matt. 5:44).

--In our imperfection, learn of God's "perfect love."

Also, people need the Lord to help us face our trials.

--We live in an imperfect world, of many troubles.

--Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, fires, terrorists.

--Who knows what may come our way on the morrow?

--Knowing the Lord, gives us quietness, confidence.

--Brings us in sweet fellowship. And in His peace.

The Titanic was the "largest, safest ship" one time.

--All aboard felt secure .. having a great time.

--But April 15, 1912, it hit an iceberg, and sank.

--No one thought it could or would. But it did!

--People were dining. Dancing. Having a good time.

--They felt safe. But it was struck, soon sank.

--They lost 1517 passengers, when the ship went down.

--Only a few were saved. Some never had a chance.

Either way, what a difference knowing Jesus made!

My brothers and sisters, how is your soul and faith?

--Today, my friend, you have a chance and a choice.

--Make sure you are "born again" in Jesus. Saved.

--He has "eternal life .. mansions in heaven" for you.

--As the song beautifully says, People Need the Lord.

--Don't you agree? Together, let's "Follow Jesus."

--He invites, "Come."

Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 795