The Sober Transition: Mark 4:10-12
“10) As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. 11) And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12) so that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.”” Mark‬ ‭4‬:‭10‬-‭12‬
This text is hard to wrestle with. It is sandwiched between the parable of the sower and its interpretation. Jesus spoke these words only to the twelve and His devoted followers. It serves as a sobering transition between the public parable and its private interpretation.
It appears there were four groups of people present to hear the parable of the sower. There were the critics, the crowd, the cowards and the called. Each group might represent a different kind of soil. We will start looking at each kind of soil in the next four sections, but first I want to make a sweeping observation.
It appears that Jesus spoke in parables to wrap a cloak of mystery around the kingdom of God. This may be hard to accept, but of the four kinds of soil, only the last went on to bear fruit. The seed was wasted on the first three kinds of soil.
Jesus did not have the goal of saving everyone, He had the goal of sanctifying those who were saved. He preached to many but focused on His faithful, called and devoted followers. To them it was granted to embrace the full benefits of kingdom life.
I find this text very sobering. It appears there was a 75% drop-out margin among those who heard the gospel from Jesus. Which kind of soil best describes you? Are you among those abiding in Jesus and bearing thirty, sixty and a hundredfold for the kingdom?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global