What Jesus Did! 'Telling Stories' — Mark 4:3-9

Friday February 26th, 2016

"Listen! A farmer went out to plant his seed. While the farmer was planting, some seed fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. Some seed fell on rocky ground. The ground there did not have enough dirt. The seed grew very fast there because the ground was not deep. But the sun rose and the plants were burned. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. So those plants did not make grain. Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed began to grow. It grew and made grain. Some plants had 30 grains, other plants had 60 grains, and some had 100 grains." Then Jesus said, "You people that hear me, listen!"
— Mark 4:3-9

Key Thought

One of the most important questions we need to seriously ask ourselves is this: "Am I willing to truly listen to Jesus, hear what he says, and do what he asks of me?" The parables are powerful learning stories that plant the Word of Jesus deep in our hearts. But, we must be committed to hearing what is said so that it takes root, grows, and produces fruit. We determine the type of soil we offer to the good news of Jesus. So let's ask the Father to help us hear and put into practice Jesus' words.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, my Abba Father, open my heart to the teaching of Jesus. Remove the barriers that I have placed between your will and my proper hearing of your truth. I so much want your Son's words to come to life in me and bear fruit. Mold me, correct me, and mature me as I open my heart, my life, and my will to the words of your Son. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Another time Jesus began teaching by the lake. Many, many people gathered around Jesus. So Jesus got into a boat and went out on the lake. All the people stayed on the shore next to the water. Jesus taught the people from the boat. Jesus used many stories to teach them. He said, "Listen! A farmer went out to plant his seed. While the farmer was planting, some seed fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. Some seed fell on rocky ground. The ground there did not have enough dirt. The seed grew very fast there because the ground was not deep. But the sun rose and the plants were burned. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. So those plants did not make grain. Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed began to grow. It grew and made grain. Some plants had 30 grains, other plants had 60 grains, and some had 100 grains." Then Jesus said, "You people that hear me, listen!" Later, Jesus was away from the people. The twelve apostles and Jesus' other followers asked him about the stories. Jesus said, "Only you can know the secret truth about the kingdom of God. But to those other people I tell everything by using stories. I do this so that: 'They will look and look, but never really see; they will listen and listen, but never understand. If they saw and understood, they might change and be forgiven.'" Then Jesus said to the followers, "Do you understand this story? If you don't, then how will you understand any story? The farmer is like a person that plants God's teaching in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. This is like some people. Those people hear the teaching of God. But Satan (the devil) comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them. Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly and gladly accept it. But those people don't allow the teaching to godeep into their lives. They keep that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly quit. Other people are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. These people hear the teaching. But then these things come into their lives: the worries of this life, the love of money, and wanting all kinds of other things. These things stop the teaching from growing. So that teaching does not make fruit {in the lives of those people}. Other people are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and make fruit—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more."

Mark 4:1-20

Related Scripture Readings

If any town refuses to accept you or refuses to listen to you, then leave that town. Shake their dust off your feet. This will be a warning to them."

Mark 6:11

Jesus called the people to him again. He said, "Every person should listen to me and understand what I am saying.

Mark 7:14

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John and went up on a high mountain. They were all alone there. While these followers watched him, Jesus was changed. Jesus' clothes became shining white. The clothes were whiter than any person could make them. Then two men were there, talking with Jesus. The men were Elijah and Moses. Peter said to Jesus, "Teacher, it is good that we are here. We will put three tents here—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Peter did not know what to say, because he and the other two followers were very afraid. Then a cloud came and covered them. A voice came from the cloud and said, "This (Jesus) is my Son and I love him. Obey him!"

Mark 9:2-7

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About this Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.