For the full text of Mark 4, click here.
The Parable of the Sower is recounted and explained in much the same way as in Matthew 13 but without the Isaiah prophecy in the middle.
The parable is followed by one about putting a lamp under a basket that is similar to what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount about it. In Matthew, it’s mentioned in conjunction with the salt and in that people’s faith cannot and should not be hidden. Here, it’s more about hiding intentions and letting things manifest in the darkness. It made me think of the mysterious nature of God’s plan. It also reinforces the idea that it’s about a certain amount of effort and investment.
There’s a parable about seeds growing and that even though people don’t understand how they grow, we know that they do. We know what to do with it when it gets ripe, though, and that seems to be the important part of this parable. This one doesn’t have an explanation nor is it much like any that were in Matthew already.
It’s followed by the parable of the mustard seed that we did see back in Matthew 13 also. This one is identical to the Matthew account but it doesn’t go on to talk about leaven. Just the mustard seed and the way it grows from the smallest to the biggest. But it does go on that Jesus spoke in all parables and only explained them to the disciples.
Then comes the story of Jesus and the boat in the storm. It first showed up in Matthew 8. All the disciples freak out while He’s taking a nap and wake Him up to do something about it. Jesus acquiesces but not without snapping at them about their lack of faith. Okay, that’s one of those passages that depend on your mood. To me, He snaps at them. It could just as easily be that He asked with a compassion voice or a condescending one or a fatherly tone of disbelief. All the same, He was awoken to calm storm and He did and it doesn’t sound like they were less freaked out by the result. They began to question how He could have that level of authority over the elements.