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Proper 6 Mark 4.26-34

Gospel Talk

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1richardbsmith
Jun 10, 2012, 2:53pm Top

Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come."

He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

2richardbsmith
Jun 10, 2012, 2:55pm Top

Collect

Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

3richardbsmith
Jun 10, 2012, 3:02pm Top

There is always a tendency to allegorize the parables, but the gospels do give some encouragement to allegorize with the sower parable.

How do you understand here the seed, the fruit, and the one who sows but does not know how the seed grows.

Perhaps the sower is a person proclaiming the gospel and without his knowledge his word bears fruit in someone who has heard, or perhaps has seen.

Is our seed our word and our deed? And we do not know what fruit it might bear in someone else?

4richardbsmith
Jun 10, 2012, 3:04pm Top

With the second parable, does the kingdom we have brought about provide large branches and nesting shade?

5ambrithill
Jun 14, 2012, 5:55am Top

I recently taught a class on the parables of Jesus, and in preparing for the class I discovered that in older commentaries there was a different view about the birds in the mustard seed parable. It seems that most people today think this parable is referring to the church growing so large that it reaches people from every nation, or something similar to that. However, in the older commentaries it was seen as a warning about Satan coming into the church, possibly from the church "spreading" the Gospel to have a new meaning (perhaps by accepting false doctrine as a way to make the church more appealing). This view was based on the fact that the birds in the earlier parable in this same chapter were described as Satan by Jesus.

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