The Parables of the Messiah
I. The PURPOSE of the PARABLES (Mark 4:10-12, 21-25, 33-34)
A. To CONNECT and to SUBVERT (v. 3, 8, 21, 24-25, 26, 29, 31)
B. To REVEAL and OBSCURE (v. 11-12, 21-25)
C. To EXPLAIN His ACTIONS (Isaiah 6:8-13)
II. The MESSAGE of the MESSIAH (Mark 4:1-34)
A. AVAILABLE for those who will RECEIVE it (v. 4-7, 11-12, 15-19, 23; Mark 2:17)
B. FORCES a DECISION (v. 20, 24, John 3:18-19)
C. It’s NOT What You THINK (v. 3, 31-32)
III. LOOKING for the KINGDOM (Luke 17:21)
A. EARS to HEAR are FERTILE SOIL (Mark 4:20, 23-25)
B. PATIENCE is the PATH to the Kingdom (v. 26-29)
C. EXPECT BIG Things (v. 31-32)
Questions for Further Reflection
- Kid’s Question: What is your favourite story? Why?
- What is your favourite type of story (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, etc.)?
- What parables of Jesus do you feel are really confusing?
- Do you find it frustrating or encouraging that the parables are meant to be wrestled with? 5. What do you make of God’s words to Isaiah in Is. 6 that Jesus quotes? Is God being unfair? Why would God work this way?
- In what ways can you practice looking for the kingdom right now?
- What thoughts can be taken from the parable of the sower to develop “fertile ears”?
- How do we hold in tension the ideas that patience is required and that the Kingdom will bring about massive unpredictable changes?
- Homework: Go re-read some parables. Take off your theological/moral glasses and read them fresh to see what they might be telling you about Jesus and His ministry.