Mark Chapter 4 (4 of 16) by Harley Howard

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Mark Chapter 4 (4 of 16)
Series: The Gospel of Mark
Harley Howard

1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

Wherever Jesus went tremendous crowds were joined or gathered together to Him. The crowds were so huge that He had to get into a ship and teach the people, while the entire multitude stood on the shore to listen to Him speak. They were about to hear Him say things that they probably have never heard before and didn't expect - parables.

2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine,

The truths He spoke to them were in parabolic form. The text states that He spoke many things by parables. We want to first look at this issue of parables by asking two questions:

1. What is a parable?
2. What were the purposes of parables?

Well, before we answer these questions, it is important to know that this is the first time in Mark's gospel that this word is used. It is probably safe to assume that this was the first time He taught in this fashion.

1. A parable is an example by which a doctrine or precept is illustrated.

2. It is also a pithy and instructive saying, involving some likeness or comparison and having perceptive or admonitory force.

Some say that a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. That's a brief definition, but has some merit. We need to understand that parables were concealed sayings, and as such, they always had a warning attached to them. They were to be taken very seriously, for if the meaning was not understood and followed serious consequences would follow. This is what Jesus meant when He said; "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." That is an admonitory warning. In our vernacular it would be like saying, "You had better hear and do this, or else".

Now that we know what a parable is, let' ...


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