Mark 4 Reflection by Steve L
The first thing I noticed when reading this chapter was that there was so many people coming to listen to Jesus that he had to get into a boat(!) which is pretty cool! But this also might show that, at this point, people were more interested in seeing more miracles and healings than to hear his teaching, which a funny mix of being hugely wide and inclusive but also the very narrow and costly!
The next thing I noticed was the parable of the sower. After reading this I realised that the seeds were being consistently scattered landing on all sorts of different ground and soil.
Jesus describes the seed as the “Word” and I’m guessing the farmer is any person sharing the word, which is also called described as the “Kingdom” in Mathew. It is apparent that we shouldn’t pick and choose where we scatter the word or spread his kingdom as we don’t know where the good soil is.
I was thinking about our context and personally challenged about the temptation to predict which sort of young person would be “good soil”, as they might not be the person we would expect. The person of peace might not be a person of peace in terms of a worldly surface level.
I was challenged by the thought of not picking and choosing where and which young people we sow seeds in but to sow generously. Time will tell where the good soil is and it could be the young people we least expect who go on to bear fruit “30, 60 or 100 times over”. It is often those from the most dysfunctional messy backgrounds who are the most powerful evangelists.
This also takes the pressure off us to be in control as it is apparent that our responsibility is to scatter the seeds and is rarely down to us when people drop away as Jesus described the many distractions etc.
In verse 30 Jesus describes the kingdom of God like a mustard seed, a tiny thing which ends up growing into one of the “largest of all garden plants”. Where are we seeing tiny seeds which seem barely significant at the moment? This parable is an encouragement that Gods kingdom can grow into a wild and out of control movement, bigger than any other in the garden. Are we praying for a move of God on this estate which is messy and uncontrollable? It’s a scary but exciting thought!