Mark Chapter 4

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

The parable of the sower
  1. And again He began to teach along the sea.  And the largest crowd assembles to Him, so He stepped into a boat to sit in the sea, and all the crowd was on the land facing toward the sea.
  2. And He was teaching them many things in parables, and He was telling them in His teaching:
  3. “Listen!  Behold: the man sowing seed went out to sow.
  4. “And it happened when he went to sow that some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and devoured it.
  5. “And other seed fell on a rocky place where it didn’t have much soil.  And it immediately sprang up because it didn’t have1“because it didn’t have” is literally: “because it not to have” deep roots in the soil.
  6. “And it was scorched when the sun rose, and it withered because it didn’t have2“because it didn’t have” is literally: “because it not to have” a deep root.
  7. “And other seed fell into the thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked it, and it gave no fruit.
  8. “And other seeds fell into the good soil.  And springing up and increasing, it was giving fruit; and one was bearing thirtyfold, and one sixtyfold, and one a hundredfold.”
  9. And He was saying: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The parable explained
  1. And when He was alone, the men around Him with the twelve were asking Him about the parables.
  2. And He was telling them: “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been given to you.  But to those outside, all teaching happens in parables,
  3. “so that: While seeing they might see and not discern; and while hearing they might hear and not understand; lest at some time they turn and it might be forgiven them.”3quotation/allusion to Isaiah 6:9-10
  4. And He tells them: “Haven’t you understood this parable?  And how will you understand all the parables?
  5. “The man sowing seed sows the word.
  6. Now, these are the ones where the word is sown beside the road; and when they heard, Satan immediately comes and removes the word which has been sown into them.
  7. And likewise, these are the ones sown on the rocky places; who when they heard the word, they immediately receive it with joy.
  8. And they don’t have root in themselves, but are temporary; only lasting for a season.4“temporary; only lasting for a season” is one word in the Greek.  Its’ colloquial meaning is “temporary”, but the full technical meaning is “lasting (only) for a season”.  Technically, including both is double translating a Greek word.  However, the additional nuance of the full definition adds meaning to the verse, therefore it was included.  Afterwards when tribulation or persecution happened because of the word, they immediately fall away.
  9. And others are the ones sown into the thorns.  These are the men who heard the word,
  10. and the cares of the age, and the deception of wealth, and the rest of their cravings entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
  11. And these are the men sown on the good soil: all who hear the word, and receive it, and bear fruit; one thirtyfold, and one sixtyfold, and one a hundredfold.”
  12. And He was telling them: “The lamp isn’t brought in so it might be put under a measuring basket or under the bed, is it?  Isn’t it brought in so it might be put on the lampstand?
  13. “For nothing is hidden except so it might be revealed, nor did a secret thing happen, but that it might come to light.
  14. “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Kingdom of God is like…
  1. And He was telling them: “Watch out what you listen to. It will be measured to you by whatever standard you measure, and more will be added to you.
  2. For whoever has, more will be given to him.  And whoever doesn’t have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
  3. And He was saying: “The kingdom of God is like this: like a man who throws the seed on the soil,
  4. “and he sleeps and rises night and day, and how the seed might sprout and grow, he doesn’t *know.
  5. “Of its own accord the soil bears fruit; first a sprout, next a head, next full grown grain in the head.
  6. Yet when the fruit allows, he immediately sends the sickle because the harvest has arrived.”
  7. And He was saying: “How might we compare the kingdom of God?  Or by what parable might we establish it?
  8. It’s like a mustard seed, which is smaller than all the cultivated5The word “cultivated” is not in the Greek, but was added to provide cultural context. The mustard seed was the smallest seed of all the plants that the Jews cultivated. seeds on the earth when it is sown on the earth.
  9. And when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all the garden plants and makes great branches so the birds of the air are able to nest under its shade.”
  10. And He was speaking the word to them through many such parables, as they were able to hear.
  11. Yet He wasn’t speaking to them without a parable, but He was explaining all things in private to His own disciples.
Jesus calms the storm
  1. And it having become evening on that day, He tells them: “Let us pass to the other side of the sea.
  2. And having sent away the crowd, they take Him with them since He was in the boat.  And other boats were with Him.
  3. And a great storm of wind comes, and the waves were rushing into the boat, so the boat is already being filled.
  4. And He was in the stern of the ship, sleeping on a cushion.  And they wake Him and say to Him: “Teacher, don’t you care that we are perishing?!”
  5. And having been awakened, He scolded the wind and told the sea: “Silence; be still.”6quotation/allusion to Psalm 107:28-29  And the wind ceased raging, and it became a great calm.
  6. And He said to them: “Why are you fearful?  Don’t you have faith yet?”
  7. And they were terrified with great fear, and were saying to one another: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”


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