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

Mark 4:14-20 – Sower Parable Explained

|| Matthew 13:18-23;[1] Luke 8:11-15

MK4:14 “The Sower sows the Word. MK4:15 Now those by the side of the road where the Word is sown, when they hear Satan arrives instantly and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts. MK4:16 And in the same way those sown on rocky soil, these are those who when they have heard the Word receive it at first with great joy. MK4:17 But, without any real roots they endure only for a little while, and as soon as trouble or oppression occurs because of the Word, they instantly stumble. MK4:18 Now those that are sown among the thorns, these are those who hear the Word, MK4:19 but the anxieties of this period of time,[2] and the seduction of riches choke the Word,[3] and it becomes unfruitful. MK4:20 Finally, those who are sown in good soil are those who hear the Word and welcome it and also produce fruitage – some thirty, some sixty, and some one-hundred.”

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[1] Matthew 13:18-23: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Anxieties of this period of time: Or, KJV: cares of this world; NEB: worldly cares; GDS: worries of the time; MON: anxieties of life. [1 John 2:15-17]

“15 Do not continue loving the world-order of humanity, nor the things in the world-order of humanity. If anyone ever loves the world-order of humanity then the love of the Father is not in such a person. 16 Because everything in the world-order of humanity – the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the prideful display of possessions of this life – it is not of the Father but it is from the world-order of humanity. 17 For the world-order of humanity is going its way and its desire with it, but the person doing the will of The God will remain throughout that new Age to come.” (1Jo 2:15-17 mhm)

[3] The seduction of riches choke the Word: Or, KJV: the deceitfulness of riches; RIE: lure of; NEB: false glamour of wealth; WMS: deceiving pleasures of being rich. [1 John 2:15-17]

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Preceding

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

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?

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Additional reading

  1. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  2. Jesus the Storyteller 2 Interpreting Jesus’ stories
  3. The Parable of the Sower

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Related

  1. Speaking in Parables
  2. Parable of the Sower
  3. The Parable of the Sower
  4. We Are the Soil
  5. What kind of seed are you?
  6. What Kind Of Soil Does Your Seed Grow In
  7. The Garden of our Heart
  8. The Seeds We are Called to Sow
  9. Seeds and Me
  10. Sunday Sermon: Sowing Discipleship
  11. Aim To Pass The Test
  12. How Is Your Hearing?
  13. Exploring The Parable of the Sower
  14. The Parable of the Sower in Modern Day
  15. Matthew 13: Jesus, the Greatest Storyteller Speaks in Parables to Bring the Kingdom to Us
  16. Overcoming the Thorns
  17. Mark 4:18-19
  18. What You Can’t Buy
  19. Search Me, God

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

CHAPTER FOUR:
PARABLES TO ILLUSTRATE THE KINGDOM

[“Kingdom Mysteries”]
Key word: Kingdom

Mark 4:1-9 – Teaching in Parables

|| Matthew 13:1-9;[1] Luke 8:4-8

MK4:1 Now Jesus began to teach by the seashore and there gathered around him a crowd so large he got into a boat and sat a bit off shore. The whole crowd was on the beach at water’s edge. MK4:2 Then Jesus taught them many things by means of parables, and in his teaching he said to them: MK4:3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow,[2] MK4:4 and it happened as he sowed that some [seed] fell by the side of the road. Now the birds of heaven came and picked them up. MK4:5 Also, some [seed] fell on rocky ground where there was little soil. So, the seed sprouted quickly because it had no depth of soil. MK4:6 But, when the sun rose the sprout was scorched and because it had no root it withered away. MK4:7 Now [other seed] fell among thorns and when the thorns also grew up they choked it producing nothing. MK4:8 Some, though, fell on good soil and it did produce something, sprouting and increasing – some yielding thirty times, some sixty times, and others even one-hundred times!” MK4:9 And Jesus added: “Let the one with ears – hear!”

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[1] Matthew 13:1-9: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Sower went out to sow: The parable illustrates four reactions to the teachings of Jesus – then, and today.

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Preceding

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

Mark 3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Review Questions on Chapter Three

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Additional reading

  1. Jesus the Storyteller 2 Interpreting Jesus’ stories
  2. Leading people astray!
  3. The Parable of the Sower
  4. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms
  5. Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation
  6. What God should I believe in

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Related articles

  1. How Is Your Hearing?
  2. Lenten Devotional: March 2
  3. Speaking in Parables
  4. Parable of the Sower
  5. Exploring The Parable of the Sower
  6. The Parable of the Sower in Modern Day
  7. Aim To Pass The Test
  8. Heart-A-Check Meter
  9. Which Soil are You?
  10. Seeds and Me
  11. The Soil – Part 1
  12. The Soil – Part 2
  13. The Soil – Part 3
  14. God’s dirt, word and work [Sermon]
  15. Parable of the Torso?
  16. The primacy it requires
  17. Sculptor and Clay
  18. Matthew 13: Jesus, the Greatest Storyteller Speaks in Parables to Bring the Kingdom to Us
  19. Don’t give up
  20. Kingdom secrets and the unstoppable word in the soil of your soul (Growing deeper with Luke 8:4-15)

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

MT7:15 You, be alert for false prophets[1] who come to you dressed as sheep[2] but inside are rapacious wolves.[3] MT7:16 By their fruitage you will know them![4] No one ever gathers grapes from thorns[5] or figs from thistles! MT7:17 Thus, every good tree bears good fruitage,[6] but rotten trees, wicked fruitage. MT7:18 No good tree bears wicked fruitage,[7] nor a rotten tree good fruitage. MT7:19 Every tree not bearing good fruitage is cut down and thrown into the Fire. MT7:20 And, so, from their fruitage you will know them.

False teachers – Bowyer Bible Gospels print 3572 By their works you shall know them Passeri

[1] False prophets: Not only is The Way narrow and cramped but there are deceitful individuals who make the journey even more difficult. The Nazarene describes these as “false prophets.” He uses this designation 4 times in the Gospels (Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24; Luke 6:26). Peter uses it once (2 Peter 2:1) and John once (1 John 4:1). False prophets disguise themselves, which would indicate some motive (Luke 6:43, 44). Various renderings are: PHI: false religious teachers; GDSP: disguised as sheep; PHI: greedy wolves.

The most often used context in the Nazarene’s teachings where he uses the designation “false prophets” are those who predict ‘the appointed time is near’ (Luke 21:8); or claim, ‘The Christ is here!’ (Mark 13:21) (Or, ‘I am the Anointed.’ Matthew 24:4)

These “false prophets” must also be among those who the Nazarene describes later as ones who say, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not speak before others, exorcise demons, do dynamic works, all in your name?’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

The subject of “false prophets” was one that Moses, a proto-type of Messiah, also took up at Deuteronomy 13:1-10 and 18:20-22, with two identifying characteristics: a) lead others to false gods; and, b) foretell events which do not occur.

[2] Dressed as sheep: Paul echoes this when he says that some false brothers from among the Corinthian elders appear as ‘angels of light’ or ‘messengers of righteousness.’ (2 Corinthians 11:3, 14,15) Jude calls them ‘rocks hidden below water.’ (Jude verse 12) The Nazarene foretold their success when he said, ‘For pseudo-anointed and false prophets will rise and give great signs and portents to mislead, if possible, the Elect.’ (Matthew 24:24)

[3] Rapacious wolves: Paul uses a similar description when he warns a gathering of elders, ‘After my departure, oppressive wolves, not sparing the flock, will rise among you, speaking twisted things.’ (Acts 20:29) Elsewhere he describes such “false brothers” as ‘pseudo-apostles, deceitful workers who appear as angels of light and servants of righteousness.’ (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

[4] By their fruitage you will know them: Signs are certainly not a way to recognize true prophets. False prophets are identifiable by: a) an oppressive nature which places burdens on the flock; b) false prophecies about appointed times which prove untrue; c) claim of Christ’s authority as an elitist priesthood or singular channel; d) claims of “signs” as proof of Christ’s backing.

The Nazarene later uses the word “lawless” which would mean breaking the commandments of Christ. This word “lawless” crops up at Matthew 13:41; 24:12. It ought to be clear that one of the major areas of concern when considering “false prophets” is whether what they have foretold comes true or not.

[5] No one ever gathers grapes from thorns: Various renderings: NEB: can grapes be picked from briars.

[6] Every good tree bears good fruitage: See Luke 6:43. Various renderings: a good tree always yields good fruit; WMS: sickly tree… poor fruit.

[7] No good tree bears wicked fruitage: This infers that a good tree always produces nothing but good fruit. If a tree would produce even one rotten fruit then it would at least call into question its “claims.” Various renderings: TCNT: by the fruit of their lives you will know such men.

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Preceding articles

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

The sin of partiality

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

Object of first woe

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Additional reading

  1. Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world
  2. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  5. Pain, sanctification and salvation
  6. Good Morning January 25 We are theologians
  7. Bearing fruit
  8. Several Christians fail to recognise the Chosen ones of God and are not taking on a Christian attitude
  9. James 2:14-23 — Justified Dynamic Faith & works

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Further additional reading

  1. Phillip Medhurst presents Bowyer Bible Gospels print 3572 By their works you shall know them Passeri
  2. Phillip Medhurst presents Bowyer Bible print 3586 A tree is known by its fruits Matthew 7:16-19 Passeri
  3. Fruit of the Holy Spirit
  4. Bearing Fruits
  5. Practically Speaking
  6. Narrow Or Wide Gate?
  7. The Narrow Road Of Discipleship
  8. Build Your House On The Rock
  9. False Prophets 1
  10. False Prophets 2
  11. False Prophets 3
  12. Strong Roots and a Good Foundation
  13. Signs and directions
  14. Is it Fruit yet?
  15. Log?..What log?
  16. A Plague on All Our Houses: Racism in American Theatre

It is difficult to accept that we each play a part—regardless of how small—in perpetuating racism in our society. We are products of our time, and although our legislation and current President would suggest that we are post-racism, we are actually far from it. Instead, we live in a nation still reeling from the Civil […]

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