Rich Soil and Responsive Hearts

April 11, 2021   /   Clairemont Emmanuel Baptist Church

Rich Soil and Responsive Hearts
Following the Servant
Mark 4:1-20

Jesus made abstract ideas concrete through parables.  Rabbis taught in parables and so people were used to hearing teaching done in this way.  In this parable, Jesus calls His followers to hear, respond to, and share the gospel, while sin, the cares of this world, and opposition, hinder kingdom growth.

THE SEED symbolizes the Word of God, and specifically the gospel!

THE SOWER is primarily Christ, but also anyone else who preaches the gospel.

THE SOIL represents the varying condition of the human hearts on which the seed is sown.

“Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  This is why I speak to them in parables:  ‘Though seeing, they do not see: though hearing, they do not hear or understand.’”                                                                           Matthew 13:12, 13

Those who receive truth and act upon it .

1. The seed on the path represents the heart (v. 15)

Our responsibility is to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to others as clearly as we can, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to God.

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 36:26 (New Living Translation)

2. The seed on rocky places represents the heart (vv. 16, 17)

“There is nothing more cheering than transformed Christian people and there is nothing more disintegrating than people who have been merely “brushed” by Christianity, people who have been sown with a thousand seeds but in whose lives there is no depth and no rootage.
Therefore, they fall when the first whirlwind comes along. It is the half-Christians who always flop in the face of the first catastrophe that happens, because their dry intellectuality and their superficial emotionalism do not stand the test.”                                                                                                                      -Helmut Thielicke

3. The seed upon thorny soil:  the heart (vv. 18, 19)

“You can’t worship two gods at once.  Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other.  Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other.  You can’t worship God and Money both.” Matthew 6:24 (The Message)

Matthew 6:33

The Bible tells us the great story of Jesus and how we can by Him.

Take all our emotions and anxious thoughts to the Lord !!

4. The seed in the good soil:  the heart (v. 20)

·       It produces first a harvest of character:  Galatians 5:22, 23
·       It produces also a harvest of good works.  Ephesians 2:10
·       It produces thirdly, a harvest of new believers.  John 15:16

  • We must God’s Word.

  •  We must God’s Word.
  • We must put God’s Word


Daily Meditations
Memory verse: “Then Jesus said, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’” Mark 4:9
Read Mark 4:1-20. Why do you think the Holy Spirit inspired the biblical writers to use parables?
When have you found telling stories (parables) to be an effective way to communicate? What made them effective?
Read Mark 4:1-20.  Why do some people call this the parable of the sower and some call it the parable of the soils? Which do you prefer, and why?
Read Mark 4:1-20. How did Jesus’ parables give His disciples more understanding without giving any benefit to those who rejected Him?
Give current examples of cases where those who already understand the gospel gain more understanding while those who have rejected Jesus remain in the dark.
Read Mark 4:1-20. Was it unfair of Jesus to obscure His teaching from those who rejected Him by using parables? 
Whose fault was it ultimately that they did not understand?
Read Mark 4:1-20. Why is this parable foundational to comprehending other parables?
Is one kind of soil prevalent in our culture? Is there a particular way we should present the Word of God that might make people more receptive? How can we change the presentation without changing the message?
Read Mark 4:1-20. As with the “path,” is Satan also responsible for the failure of the other kinds of unfruitful soil?  How so?
What part do we play in being good soil for God’s Word? What can we do to grow in holiness and to produce fruit by making disciples?

Save PDF Locally

Click to save a copy of the filled-in notes to a PDF file on your device

Save PDF to Google Drive

Click to save a copy of the filled-in notes to a PDF file on your Google Drive account

(For Apple devices, use Chrome browser or go to SETTINGS>SAFARI and uncheck BLOCK POPUPS.)