Mark 4:1–34 Discussion Guide

By Drew Dabbs and Tim Peabody

  • Main Point of the Passage: Jesus taught in parables so that his disciples could understand the kingdom of God but people on the outside could not.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: The kingdom of God grows dramatically as people hear and welcome the word of Jesus.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will live as a citizen of the kingdom of God by welcoming the word of Jesus.
  • Key Verse: “And those like seed sown on good ground hear the word, welcome it, and produce fruit thirty, sixty, and a hundred times what was sown.” (Mark 4:20, CSB)

Discussion Questions

Smile Question: What was your favorite children’s story or book?

Share Question: If the crowds who followed Jesus could see the world today, what might surprise them?

Introduce the Passage: The kingdom of God grows dramatically as people hear and welcome the Word. In Mark 4:1–34, Jesus taught in parables so that his disciples could understand the kingdom of God but people on the outside could not.

Study Question: As we read each section of this chapter, let’s list the truths Jesus want his disciples to understand about the kingdom of God.

Possible answers include:

  • Mark 4:1–20 — Not everyone will understand or believe the mysteries of the kingdom. The growth of the kingdom is exponential. The word is the catalyst for the kingdom’s growth. It is possible to allow the worries of this world to choke out the word.
  • Mark 4:21-25 — Our response to Jesus and his kingdom has drastic consequences. The kingdom of God is not a hidden or secretive matter.
  • Mark 4:26-29 — The kingdom grows in a mysterious way. Kingdom growth is not sudden. The sower’s job is to sow the seed, not cause the growth.
  • Mark 4:30-34 — The kingdom grows in a dramatic way.

Connect-the-Dots Question: Why do you think Jesus might want those on the outside to be “ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding?”

Count-the-Cost Question: Read verses 16–19 again and tell about a time you saw something like this happen.

Let’s-Do-It Question: In your own life, what are the biggest challenges to your welcoming the word of Jesus?

Prayer: Father, help us to receive your word with faith and to plant your word in the lives of others. Amen.

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