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Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:30-32 – Kingdom Like a Mustard Seed

Mark 4:30-32 – Kingdom Like a Mustard Seed

|| Matthew 13:31, 32;[1] Luke 13:18, 19

MK4:30 Jesus said: “With what will we compare God’s Realm? Or, what parable might we use to explain it? MK4:31 It is like a mustard-seed[2] when first planted in the ground is among the tiniest of all seeds. MK4:32 But once grown it becomes one of the largest of all bushes, so even the birds of the sky nest in its shade.”

*

[1] Matthew 13:31, 32: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Mustard-seed: The Church begins with essentially twelve men and a few score disciples. It grows over three centuries into a massive bush, almost like a tree. Had anyone predicted to the Jews or Romans that within three centuries the Nazarene movement would become the state religion and that Emperor himself would be a Christian – there would have been universal laughter. Had those persons in the 3rd Century been told that Christianity would become the world’s largest religion with two billion adherents among the most powerful nations on earth – none would have believed it.

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Preceding

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 17:14-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:1-9 – Teaching in Parables

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:10-13 – How Will You Understand?

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:14-20 – Sower Parable Explained

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:21-23 – Light Exposes

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:24, 25 – Hearing and Responsibility

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:26-29 – The Sleeping Farmer

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Additional reading

  1. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  2. Unbelief, faith and mustard seed
  3. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for

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Related

  1. Mark 4:26-34
  2. Seed Power
  3. Seeds of Mustard and Kudzu
  4. Morning Musing: Mark 4:30-32
  5. The Mustard Seed
  6. A Little Mustard Seed
  7. Mustard Seed
  8. Handing Over the Keys
  9. Gardening from Seed
  10. Mustard Seeds
  11. From One Seed – Many Seeds
  12. Weed or towering cedar? The Kingdom of God.
  13. Text Study for Mark 4:26-34 (Pt. 2); 3 Pentecost B 2021
  14. Seeds Harvest Growth- Worship Resources based on Mark 4.26-34
  15. God of the Little – Prayer
  16. The Kingdom is not in us. We are in the Kingdom.
  17. Growing the Kingdom: It’s Not About Us
  18. Gardening with God
  19. Stay in the Soil
  20. Never Underestimate the Power of a Seed
  21. “God Changes Things!”
  22. An Everlasting Kingdom
  23. Setting Our Stories Straight: The Myth of Progress

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1 – Review Questions on Chapter One

Review Questions on Chapter One

• Describe the beginning of the Gospel in Mark.
• Describe some of the first things Jesus did and said.
• Did Jesus wish to be alone from time to time?
• What made Jesus’ teaching seem “new”?
• Who were some of the people Jesus healed?
• What did the demons know?

*

The apostle Mark bringing the story of the origin of the Good News about Jesus Christ the Son of the God (the approved one from God).

Several times Mark describes Jesus as a person who enjoyed his privacy. (#Luke 4:42)

Jesus used a.o. the synagogues for his teachings (Mark 1:21)and later Paul was to follow the Nazarene’s example in using the Jewish synagogue system as the frame work for the beginning of Christianity.

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Preceding

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance

Mark 1 – Additional Bible Students notes on Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:12-13 – Tempted by the Devil

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:14-15 – Kingdom Has Drawn Near

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:16-21 – Becoming Fishers of Men

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:22-28 – Teaching in a Synagogue

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:29-31 – Peter’s Mother-in-law Healed

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:32-34 – A Variety of Sicknesses Cured

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:35-39 – Private Prayers and More Preaching

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:40-45 – Leper Healed and Then More Isolation

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:16-21 – Becoming Fishers of Men

Mark 1:16-21 – Becoming Fishers of Men

|| Matthew 4:18-22[1]

MK1:16 Now while walking beside the sea[2] of Galilee Jesus saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother. As they were fishermen they were casting their nets into the sea. MK1:17 Jesus said to them: “Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers for men.” MK1:18 At once they left their nets and followed him. MK1:19 Continuing a little further he saw James the son of Zebedee[3] and his brother John. They also were in their boat mending the nets, and he immediately called them. MK1:20 They immediately left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men,[4] and they went and followed Jesus. MK1:21 So they came to Capernaum, and on the next Sabbath he entered the synagogue[5] and began to teach.

*

[1] Matthew 4:18-22: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Walking beside the sea: We see the Nazarene’s footprints in the sand.

[3] Zebedee: Or, Zabdi.

[4] Left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men: We can imagine the look on his face as he sees his sons leave for a life he could not begin to imagine, nor could history at this time.

[5] He entered the synagogue: There is a synagogue uncovered by archaeologists here that was built by the charity of a Roman centurion. Later Paul will follow the Nazarene’s example in using the Jewish synagogue system as the frame work for the beginning of Christianity.

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Preceding

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance

Mark 1 – Additional Bible Students notes on Mark 1:9-11 – An Approved Son Baptized

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:12-13 – Tempted by the Devil

Mark 1 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 1:14-15 – Kingdom Has Drawn Near

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

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Additional reading

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Related

  1. Dropping the Nets that Entangle
  2. Invitation
  3. Trust and Obey
  4. Jesus’ call to be His disciple is an equipping call
  5. Jesus Calling!
  6. Fishers of Men
  7. Fishers of Men… “Four Fishermen Follow Jesus” 
  8. Fishing like Evangelism is Unpredictable
  9. Daily Devotion What would it take for you to be able to drop everything? Are you willing to let go of your grip of the familiar to try something new? There are no promises that the journey ahead will be easy but Jesus is one worth really following.
  10. Matthew 4:19-Jesus said To Fish For People
  11. What Da Hook Gone Be?
  12. The Spiritual Blur
  13. Mending Our Nets
  14. Gospel of John: In Between
  15. Torn Nets
  16. Fishers of men – My Lion Again – On Before ITS NEWS
  17. Because you say so
  18. The Soul of the Fisher
  19. Fish for People/Fisher’s of Men
  20. Spend Time with Jesus

Matthew 13:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32 – Parable of the Mustard Seed

|| Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18, 19

MT13:31 Jesus put before them another parable, saying, “The Realm of Heaven may be compared to[1] a grain of mustard[2] which a man took and planted in his field.[3] MT13:32 The mustard grain is smaller than all the seeds[4] but when grown is greater than all vegetation as it becomes a tree.[5] Birds of the sky find lodging in its branches.”

*

[1] May be compared to: Something about the Church – the realm of profession (see notes elsewhere) – is like a tiny seed which grows into a great tree where birds roost.

[2] Mustard: The Greek is SINAPEOS. Possibly Brassica nigra with a seed the size of a pinhead growing to as much as five meters. Wild mustard may have been right before them in yellow bloom along the lake. The Jews used the phrase “mustard seed” to refer to the slightest breach of ceremonial law. Compare Matthew 17:20.

[3] Planted in his field: Thus probably Brassica nigra. There is an echo here of the previous parable. May the man and the field be the same? Luke 13:18 has it, “a man took and put in his garden.”

[4] Smaller than all the seeds: ASV: less than all seeds. The Greek is MICROTERON and could infer the “least of all seeds.” There are smaller seeds (orchid) but most feel Jesus is speaking only of the land of Israel. Mark 4:31 reads: “the tiniest of all the seeds that are on the earth (or, in the land).” Also, Jesus has in mind a domestic seed that is planted in a field or garden within the experience of the disciples.

[5] It becomes a tree: What is the meaning of the parable? In what manner is the Church (the realm of profession) like a tiny seed that grows into a great tree? Had Jesus told Pilate that within three centuries Christianity would be the state religion and the Caesar would be a Christian, how would Pilate responded? Approaching the year 2,000 the Christian Church is the largest of the religions on earth with Christian America the most powerful nation on earth. William Barclay writes: “Sometimes his disciples must have despaired. Their little band was so small and the world was s wide. How could they ever win and change it?”

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Preceding

Matthew 9:35-38 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Preaching Tour in a Great Harvest

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

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Additional reading

  1. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  2. Being in isolation #6 to Hear Call from God and breaking isolation
  3. Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God
  4. Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation
  5. The Realm of profession in Christianity
  6. Partakers and sons of the Realm
  7. To sacrifice our being for Christ

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Related

  1. Mustard Field
  2. 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Hidden Power of the Kingdom of God

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:18-23 – Parable of the Seed and Soil

|| Mark 4:13-20; Luke 8:11-15

MT13:18 “So, you [disciples], listen [to the meaning] of the parable[1] of the Sower. MT13:19 Anyone hearing the kingdom message[2] and failing to understand,[3] the Evil One[4] comes and steals[5] those things sown in the heart[6] – this is the seed sown beside the road. MT13:20 Now, the seed sown on the gravel – this is a person who at first hearing accepts [the message] with joy.[7] MT13:21 But, because of having no inner roots nothing lasts,[8] for as soon as oppression or persecution[9] occurs because of the message[10] the person stumbles.[11] MT13:22 Now, the one sown among thorns – this is the person who hears the message[12] but the anxieties of that Period[13] and deceptive riches[14] choke the message[15] and the person is unproductive.[16] MT13:23 However, the seed sown in good soil – this is the person who hears the message and understands and actually is productive:[17] one person a hundred times, another person sixty times, and another thirty times.”

*

[1] Listen [to the meaning] of the parable: Or, WEY: I will explain the parable. Evidently only directed to his disciples.

[2] Kingdom message: TCNT: the Message of the Kingdom; KNX: the word by which the kingdom is preached. This is the “word” (LOGOS) about the Realm of Heaven: the opportunity for membership within the realm of profession.

[3] Failing to understand: Or, NJB: without understanding; KIT: not comprehending; NWT: does not get the sense of. It is difficult to accept that the literal words carry the exact meaning. It is possible the Nazarene’s intent is: ‘hearing the message without attempting to understand it.’ Mark 4:15 omits the part about failing to understand. Luke 8:12 merely has “heard.”

[4] Evil One: The Greek is PONEROS. Or, KJV: wicked one.

[5] Steals: The Greek is HARPAZEI which means to “snatch” or “grab.” Or, GDSP: robs him; KJV: catcheth away; ASV: snatcheth away. The word is related to that one in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and the Rapture. Compare also Philippians 2:6.

[6] Things sown in the heart: GDSP: sown in his mind. Something has germinated but likely this person only shows a cursory interest without the inner person being moved to further effort. There is an initial interest but for a variety of self-rationalizations the kingdom theme does not strike a cord in the heart.

[7] At first hearing accepts [the message] with joy: Or, KJV: and anon with joy receiveth it; TCNT: at once accepts it joyfully; MOF: with enthusiasm. There is some follow through by this person who hears and “receives” the kingdom message – but without conviction. Luke 8:12, “they may not believe and be saved.” There may be a degree of interest resulting in joyful gladness. How far this disciple matures is not explained (Luke says there is no belief) but it appears this is a neophyte about to face realities.

[8] Having no inner roots nothing lasts: Literally, this may read: “but he has no root in himself but is transitory.” (UBSInt) Or, KJV: hath not root in himself; GDSP: takes no real root; NEB: strikes no root. Whatever initial joy the person had in the kingdom message no serious effort was forthcoming to cause the “word” to take hold. Some take up Christian discipleship but within a short time run out of enthusiasm. “Nothing lasts” may also be rendered: KJV: dureth for a while; TCNT: stands for only a short time; RIEU: he cannot hold out long. Mark 4:15 has it, “they continue for a time.” And, Luke 8:12, “they believe for a season.” The Christian walk is not a sprint but a marathon. It has been observed that many Christians “last” only three years before slowing down with some grinding to a halt. Consider word studies on endurance.

[9] Oppression or persecution: The Greek for “oppression” is THLIPSEOS (Matthew 24:20, 21) and here related to “persecution.” Or, WEY: when suffering comes. Luke 8:13 has this, “a season of testing.” From the very beginning Christianity knew only persecution and oppression. Despite the joy of accepting the kingdom message the high cost of discipleship takes its toll.

[10] Because of the message: The reason for the oppression or tribulation is not that caused by Life itself. The difficulties are related to the kingdom message.

[11] The person stumbles: Or, KJV: is offended; WEY: turns against it; MOF: at once repelled; RIEU: promptly recants; NOR: at once gives it up. The Greek is SCANDALIZETAI. Luke 8:13 has it, “they fall away (or, stand off).” A word study, stumble or stumblingblock.

[12] Hears the message: This disciple listens but will come against other problems.

[13] The anxieties of that Period: The Greek may also mean “overly concerned.” The word “period” is rendered from the Greek AIONOS which is also rendered: KJV: world; RHM: age; TCNT: life. Each age or period of human history and existence has its own particularly anxieties or concerns. Those of Jesus’ period may not be the same as in the modern period. On the matter of anxiety or being overly concerned see notes on Matthew 6:20-33. GDSP: the worries of the time. Luke 8:14 has it, “by being carried away by anxieties.”

[14] Deceptive riches: Or, KJV: the deceitfulness of riches; TCNT: the glamour of wealth; LAM: the deception caused by riches; MOF: the delight of being rich; RIEU: the lure of riches. The word “rich” describes that person with a surplus and the leisure time that goes with it. Jesus uses the words often and it is worthy of a word study on rich, riches, or, money. The word “rich” is also an interesting one to explore in an unabridged dictionary. Compare 1Timothy 6:17-19. Luke 8:15 adds, “pleasures of this life.” And, Mark 4:18 includes, “the desires for the rest of the things.” (Compare 1 John 2:15-17)

[15] Choke the message: Or, strangle, smother; BAS: put a stop to.

[16] The person is unproductive: Or, KJV: unfruitful; TCNT: it gives no return. Compare John 15:1-10; 2 Peter 1:5-8. What fruit or produce is Jesus expecting? Surely the main emphasis is on what a person does with the kingdom message regarding others. It would seem likely that it would also involve “fruitage of the spirit” and its manifestations (Galatians 5:22, 23).

[17] Hears the message and understands and actually is productive: There are three parts here: listening to the kingdom message, achieving some understanding or comprehension, and then bearing fruitage or evidence the message has taken root. Or, TCNT: really yields a return; BECK: goes on producing good things. Note, however, that this production or fruitage is not the same for all genuine Friends of the Nazarene (John 15:14). Like the “widow’s mite” it depends on individuality and circumstances, as well as a heart driven by faith. Perhaps one of the most outstanding examples of producing a hundred-fold is the apostle Paul (Romans 1:13). Paul defines Christian fruitage: Sharing (Romans 15:27, 28; Philippians 1:22); holiness (Romans 6:21); goodness, righteousness, truth (Ephesians 5:9); good work ad knowledge (Colossians 1:10); praise and charity (Hebrews 13:15).

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Preceding

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

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Related

  1. Spiritual Plague-the blindness of mechanical religion
  2. Are You Too Busy?

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