Gardendale Nazarene

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The Sower, Part 1 | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

The Sower, Part 1

Today's parable will probably turn into 'the rest of this month's parable.' There is just too much to cover in one week.

If you remember the setting for last week, we saw how Jesus' family thought he was 'out of his mind' (Mk 3:21). Mark wraps us that section with Jesus asking the question, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" A couple verses later, Jesus tells us, "...whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother."

This context opens the parable of the sower. If you look at
Mark 4:1-9, you will see that Jesus is beside the sea and a crowd has gathered.

Let's focus this week on the sea. Next week, we will move into the actual parable.

I would ask that you read a few verses and look for similarities:
  • Mark 1:16 & 17- Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
  • Mark 2:13 & 14- He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
  • Mark 3:7- Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea...

What do these passages have in common? I hope you noticed they all center around two things- the sea and the disciples. It seems that when Jesus is at the sea, his disciples need to pay attention! Mark is calling our attention to these things so that we sit up and take note.

The last point I would like for you to see today is this- Jesus begins this parable with a pivotal word in the Jewish world. Look at verse 3:

Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow."
Listen!" This command would have taken the people back to the most important imperative in their faith, "Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is One."

Jesus opens this parable with a command, "Listen!"
Listen because a prophet is speaking.
Listen because God is speaking.

May we gather, as His disciples, to listen. So many things in our world fight for our attention. The voice of God is so easily drowned out and lost in the static of our world.

Listen because
the Lord is speaking!

It is my prayer, that we sit up and take notice. God is speaking. May we turn off the noise around us to listen to the One who brings life.