Kingdom Parables

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Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  18:21
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Camping without a light

I brought some hats this morning.
I wear this hat, just to cover my head and shade my eyes.
I wear this hat, when it’s cold and I want my ears warm.
I wear this hat when I am working outside and it might rain
But what do you think I were this hat for?
To see in the dark.
Have you ever gone camping?
Have you ever stayed in a camp grounds, and after dark had to walk to the bathroom?
Walking in the dark is hard
Sometimes we even get hurt, bit, stung or tripped!
Would it be silly of us to walk in the dark if we had a good flashlight?
what if you got back to your tent and others wanted to use your flashlight
would you let them borrow it to see the path better,
or would you hide it and say,
“I don’t have a light, I didn’t bring it”.
When we have Jesus in our heart, He becomes our light, to guide us
away from wrong things like lying and cheating and
to good things like being honest and helping others.
Jesus said
Matthew 5:15–16 GNB
15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead he puts it on the lamp-stand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.
So God wants you and I to let His light shine so others can see there is something different about us, in a good way.
before we pray. I am going to lead you in singing,
This little light of mine
with motions
[insert song]
Let’s Pray
If you were here last week, you know we talked about the four soil types:
Road, gravel, weedy or Good soil
We can talk about what kind of soil we are and
We can talk about what we are doing to change our soil.
We can also talk about the farmers helpers
sowing the seed, year after year
sowing it everywhere
in hope that some of the seed will grow.
Today we are going to look at 3 more parables:
The lamp
The planter
and the Mustard Seed
All of these parables were given to help people understand the kingdom of God.

The Lamp

listen to the parable about the lamp
Mark 4:21–23 GNB
21 Jesus continued, “Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl or under the bed? Doesn’t he put it on the lamp-stand? 22 Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be uncovered. 23 Listen, then, if you have ears!”
If you have Jesus in your heart,
then you have the light of the world
inside you because
Jesus is the light of the world.
John 8:12 NIV
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
So your light
what do you do, with the light that Jesus gives you?
Is it just for you.
Do you hide it at home and never share it with anyone.
A young man, some years ago because a Christian one spring, not long before he went off to spend the summer working in a logging camp.
All summer, his pastor prayed that the young man would stay strong and not let the men in camp bully and badger him out of his Christian faith.
When he came back to town in the fall, the pastor was glad to see him in church, and was ancients to know, how did he do over the summer?
The young man said “Oh I did fine pastor, no one ever knew, I was a christian, so they left me alone”
Did that young man, let the light of Christ shine through him, during his summer in the logging camp?
You would think, a new believer, living in summer housing for the logging camp, would have been caught several times
reading his bible
You would think, they would have seen him pray before he ate.
You would think, the lack of 4-letter words in his language would have made him stick out like a sore thumb.
But no, this young man kept his faith so secret, he might as well have not had any faith at all.
It’s alright to secretly accept Christ, if you are giving Him a test to prove himself to you.
But there comes a time when you need to either be in or out.
God, did not put His light in you, so that you could hide it under a blanket.
He wants to light up your life, and the world around you.
Jesus ended the parable with
Mark 4:23 NIV
23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
It looks like we all have ears to hear, some of us have hearing aids to help us hear better.
but the best hearing aids won’t help if we refuse to listen
if we refuse to consider Jesus stories.
If fact, Jesus went on to say
Mark 4:24–25 NIV
24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
Those who approach Jesus words and Jesus parables as just some daily thoughts, daily entertainment, like reading the latest Peanuts cartoon, will not get much out of it.
Jesus said
Mark 4:24 “.......With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.”
So if you give God a small portion of time.
you can expect little in the way of God’s blessing.
If you invest more in God, use a larger measure, you can expect more blessings, remember thou blessings are more than just money, they are often the fruit of the spirit, love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness and so on.
verse 25 says
Mark 4:25 NIV
25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
having something and yet loosing it, having it taken way, reminds me of the birds that take the seed, take the word of God
sown along the path, before people give it a chance to shine in their lives and make a difference in them, Satan snatches away those thoughts.

The Growing Seed

Next Jesus tells another farming illustration, but the point is not what kind of soil are you.
The point of this illustration is the division of labor, what part do we do with sowing seed, and what part does God do
Mark 4:26–29 NIV
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
Let’s consider for a moment if we are the farm hand, spreading seed for the master. That is one task, only one task.
Days go by, and the seed grows.
There is nothing the farm hand is doing by day or by night, but the seed comes up.
Why should seeds grow, and change without our doing anything else?
Because growth comes from God’s power, not our persuasiveness.
Someone used to tell about a great salesman who could sell tanning lotion to Alaskans.
This salesman, got excited about Jesus and he could talk almost anyone into accepting Jesus
into praying a prayer
asking Jesus for forgiveness and
asking Jesus to send the Holy Spirit in their lives.
But what the salesmen found out was that,
Unless the Holy Spirit was working on the people,
they were just saying the words, and didn’t really mean it.
Until he learned to hold back his persuasive tongue and let God work on people,
they never were very committed Christians,
A lot of farmers plant their crops and then are completely dependent on God to send the rain in it’s season, and the sunshine in it’s season to.
The growth is really up to God in dry land farming, where you don’t have irrigation possible to you.
Mark 4:28 NIV
28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.
Under God’s Power, the little stem pops up
under God’s Power, the stem becomes a stalk
under God’s Power, a head forms on the stalk and
under God’s Power, the head becomes full of grain.
Can the farmer, the seed sower take any credit?
No, not much
And the kingdom growth is mostly God’s doing.
What happens to the grain, when it’s fully mature?
Mark 4:29 NIV
29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
someday, we will all be in God’s great Harvest celebration in heaven.

The Mustard Seed

Jesus gave another illustratoin of the kingdom of God
Mark 4:30–32 NIV
30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
At that time, Christianity was just getting started, is was a small thing then.
But it has changed countless lives and made them better, it’s a much bigger deal today then it was in AD 30.
The mustard seed is a small seed and in Jesus day, it was probably the smallest seed a farmer in Palestine would plant as a crop. The mustard plants we have here are small and light, but I understand their mustard bushes can get up to 12 feet tall, so yes, birds of the are can nest in in.
This is now our third farming parable, but it was told to make a different point.
The soils had to do with the sower, had to do with types of soil and perhaps, what are we doing to improve our soil
The seed one, is about our part and God’s part in growing God’s kingdom
This mustard seed parable is about something starting small and becoming large and sturdy.
There is one thing you cannot do with parables that are similar, you cannot assume that the elements of the parable mean the same thing in all parables.
By that i mean, the the 4 soils parable, the birds were evil, they stole God’s word away before people could be influenced by it.
But in the mustard seed parable, what evil are the birds doing, nesting in the big mustard bushes?
That detail baffled the church in the middle ages.
and to finish off this section of parables
Mark 4:33 NIV
33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.
What a wise teacher, Jesus taught them as much as they could understand.

How did the disciples gain better understanding of these kingdom parables?

By spending time with Jesus.
by asking Him questions.
From the parable of
The Lamp Learned God’s light in us should be shared
Sown Seeds we do our part, but God send the growth, and deserves the glory
Mustard Seed From Small beginning God is building a strong stable church
Do you have ears to hear the Master?
Do you have the Holy Spirit in you, do you hord what Jesus has done for you or share it.
Do you sow seeds for the Master, trusting that he will grow those ready to respond
by telling what Jesus has done for you
The kingdom of God started small, but growing in the lives of men and women each day.
Let’s Pray
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