The King’s Parables April 22-26

In the Gospel of Mark, there are eight parables, stories to illustrate a profound, valuable moral lesson. Jesus uses parables to reveal mysteries to His followers and to conceal truth from those opposed to Him.  However, His parables are not always easy to understand. Even His own disciples often asked Jesus to explain the stories to them. Through His parables, Jesus taught that God’s Kingdom would be established through love, service, and sacrifice, and was ultimately seen in His own display of love, service, and sacrifice at the cross. People need to decide whether or not they will submit to this Servant King or reject Him. 


Day 1       Mark 4:1-20

Reflect: Why did Jesus decide to teach in parables? Why do you think He started with this one? For the first three types of people, what is needed for them to come to a real saving faith?   

Apply:   How well do you listen and understand Jesus’ parables? What cares or fears can get in the way?  How can you be sure that you have a genuine, saving faith? 

Pray:   Jesus, I praise You that the mysteries of the kingdom have become an open book to those who believe in You. As I grow in grace and trust of You, increase my knowledge and understanding.


Day 2      Mark 4:21-25 

Reflect: How does this parable correspond to the previous one? How is the lamp like the Word? What do Jesus’ commands here mean? How critical is it to “hear” in the right way?  

Apply:   What is your favorite parable of Jesus? How has it taken root and bore fruit in your life? How have you let the light of the Gospel shine through you like a lamp for others to see?

Pray:     Lord, deepen my awareness of Your presence. Move my heart to seek You and my will to serve You. To know you is to love those You created. Let my life and my work be one of service to others.


Day 3       Mark 4:26-34

Reflect: What is the central meaning of each parable? Consider the phrase “Kingdom of God” as “God’s reign in human hearts.” How does this lend more meaning to the text? 

Apply:    How are you encouraged from these parables? What is your role in personal growth and in kingdom growth? What is God’s role? How is God’s word currently working in your heart?

Pray:     Lord, I come with an open heart. Plant Your seed in me and help it bear fruit. I want to love You more to become a better instrument of Your love.


Day 4      Mark 7:14-23 

Reflect: What specific issue is being addressed by Jesus? What do you notice about the list of things that defile us? What does Jesus mean by “defile”? 

Apply:   What is the condition of your heart? What things most often come from it? How does Jesus’ teaching outlaw our blaming others, circumstances, or Satan for our sin? 

Pray:     Father, taking this teaching to heart, I choose not to trample on the freedom and grace I have been given in Christ. Empower me to live each day in a way that honors You in my outward actions and inward thoughts.


Day 5       Matthew 13:10-17 

Reflect: What more do you learn about Jesus speaking in parables? What implications are there for those who have not received what the disciples were given?

Apply:   Describe how you have been blessed by having eyes and ears for Jesus’ words (verse 16).  How might you become a better listener to God’s Word? Does listen mean obey?

Pray:      Father, help me hear Your voice, not just with my ears but with my heart, to understand the truths that are hidden in Your Word. Today, as I seek to hear You for instruction, correction and guidance, confirm Your voice through Your Word. 


Put It Into Practice!

Many of Jesus’ parables were focused on describing the Kingdom of God, or what life is like when God reigns over a person’s heart. Choose a parable or write one that best describes this for you.