The MARK of a Servant-Circulation

The MARK of a Servant  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →


Christ uses parables or short stories to relay deeper truths in Chapter Four.
What is a parable?
Some have defined the word parable as "A story by which something real in life is used as means of presenting a moral thought." Others have said a parable "Puts the known next to the unknown so that we may learn." They are usually a story or a narrative taken from nature or human experiences. Perhaps the simplest definition of all is that a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
Author Unknown
Christ did not give the explanation of the parables except to those who asked. The purpose was to spark a thought process and a desire for understanding.
Just as in the parable of the seed that fell on different grounds, the gospel will only profit those ready and willing to accept it.
We may labor in discipleship, but every individual must determine if they will allow God's word to take root in their heart.
There are three parables that we will examine.

I. The Sower of Seed.

v. 3-9, 14-20
The first parable looks at the ground that the seed is sown in and examines the sower.
I would like for you to look at the responsibility of the sower.
The sower's job is to sow the seed. THATS IT.
The sower should concentrate on the fertile ground yet, sow unsparingly. It is alright to focus on those who seem more apt to reception. However, our duty remains to spread the seed everywhere.
Jesus did not admonish the sower for sowing seed in the wrong soil. Instead, he simply stated that some ground was not ready for the seed.
This parable served two primary purposes.
First, Christ wanted the disciples to know that it was not their job to worry about the condition of the ground. Furthermore, they could not dictate the soil.
There are times when the soil is not ready. As an evangelist, we can not will the hearer into acceptance.
I'm reminded of the interview of Charles Barkley following the finals loss to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. During this interview, Charles said that the most challenging part was accepting that he could not will his team past Jordan.
We must learn that we can not simply will people into salvation. There is a choice, and they must decide whether they will accept or reject Jesus.
Second, it was an attempt for the hearers to examine their hearts to determine the condition of their Spirits.
Christ used a relatable example of the foolishness of seeds upon the bad ground to help bring the lost to a position to accept the message.
Likewise, we must examine our hearts to see if we are willing to allow Jesus to work in our hearts.
Even the saved, we must continually remain with a teachable spirit.

II. The Sprouting seed.

The mystery of the sprouting seed is that it does it by itself.
Yes, the farmer may water, fertilize, and till the ground, yet he can not make the seed grow. So likewise, it is not the disciple or the evangelist that makes the seed grow within the heart of a sinner. The word of God is the source of life, and it alone is the giver of life.
The word of God is capable of springing up within man's heart and producing the results that lead to life. \
Acts 20:32 ESV
And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
For the pastor, evangelist, and disciple, we must remember that it is not with enticing words, gimmicks, or flattery that men are brought to Jesus but rather through the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Are you faithfully giving the word of God?
Your neighbors, friends, family, or even your Sunday School class does not need our political opinions. This world needs JESUS.
We believe in the sufficiency of Scripture. That means that the Word of God is enough. Therefore, it does not need my input or opinions.
If the average believer dedicated a fraction of our time spent in political debates upon the gospel, we could transform this world for Christ.
However, the seed that is never planted will never produce fruit.

III. The Small Seed.

v. 30-32
This represents the power of God's Word within the heart of a Christian.
Even a tiny dose of the Word of God will produce tremendous growth.
The great size of the tree represents the kingdom of God, and the birds resting in it are those who enjoy its blessings.
Although some will argue that the tree represents Israel and the birds represent Gentiles, the parable references the Kingdom of God. That kingdom is the church. And what is the church? It is the believer. Therefore, for the kingdom of God to grow, the word of God must be planted within every believer.
This is why every child of God must learn, study and grow in the knowledge of God's word.
This mustard seed is mall yet grows into a mighty bush. The plant may grow up to 12'' in height, but the bush can grow 20'' tall and 20'20' wide. And if the conditions are right, it can reach 30''.
The bigger it gets, the more shade and provisions it produces. Also, every part from the roots to the leaves is edible and has medicinal applications.
This should be a representation of the church. Excellent and valuable, top to bottom. We are continually growing and providing a place of shelter from the desert.
However, often this is not the case. Why? Because the seed is neglected.
Final Thoughts.
At the close of this story, we see that Jesus calms the storm. This may seem out of context when looking at the parables in this chapter.
The calming of the storm is not a parable. It is real.
The parables dealt with sowing seeds. This story speaks of storms being calmed.
So then, where does this story fit into the preceding thought process?
Christ had taught each of these parables to teach his followers the importance of discipleship. However, knowledge alone is not enough.
If we do not know the church's mission, how can we be successful in that mission?
We may know what we need to do but not know how to complete it. How can we be successful if we do not know the methods?
Jesus taught the disciples the why and the how of discipleship and evangelism.
However, there is one final step. We may know why we need to disciple, and we may know how to disciple. Yet, if we do not trust the process, we will never apply it.
When the parables were over, and life continued, Jesus said, "Have you still no faith?"
The problem for many believers is they do not have faith in the Word of God. We say we believe it, but we often forget the Bible when facing the unknown. We say we trust God and his word, yet, it is often our last resource or just one of many that we consult.
Many Christians hardly give the Word of God more than a passing glance. We may read it in Sunday School. We may read along while the preacher preaches. We may even read it in a Facebook post, but we never study and practice it.
The issue with the disciples is that they did not believe the words of God. He had already said in verse 35, Let us go across to the other side. He had already assured them they would reach the other side, but they did not trust his word.
Today, if we are to be disciples, we must have faith in God. And that faith must start in His word.
Do you believe it when it asks you to do that which is uncomfortable?
Do you believe it when it goes against societal norms?
Do you believe it when it tells us that sin is wrong? Do we have faith that God wants what is best for us and not that he is just trying to dictate our lives to be mean?
We will never be a disciple of others until we are disciples of the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
In Canada, a believer operated a large grain farm. His spread included some twenty-five hundred acres. When asked how he planted the seed, he reached in a bin and pulled out an ear of corn. Then he proceeded to pop out the kernels one by one as he walked along, demonstrating the planting process.
Do you believe that? No sir! That's not what he said, nor is it what he did. Instead, he pointed to a distributor that was some thirty feet wide. "We take that double tandem truck, fill it with certified seed, back it up to the distributor, open the slots, and pour in the seed."
He went on to say, "If you're ever going to be cheap, don't be cheap with the seed." One bushel of seed invested yields thirty bushels of grain harvested in a good year. Thirty-to-one is not a bad return if you are ready to believe and willing to invest.
God says, "Believe Me, trust Me, try My plan, prove My ways, and see the kind of harvest I will give." So Paul guarantees this principle of truth in the Scripture with the promise, "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:8). All grace, all ways, all-sufficiency, and all things! There are four promises in one breath. Knowing it is
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more