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  • Jason Wilson

Community Group Discussion Questions - Mark 4:1-20 "Soil"

"Some stories or movies leave little doubt about the point they want to get across. Others have a way  of arresting our attention while leaving us in sufficient doubt about their precise message in order to  tease us into reflecting on them more deeply. Jesus’ parables were often the later kind, vivid stories that  captured people’s attention but drew them into deeper reflection. The kingdom parables in Mark 4  invite us to see how the Kingdom takes root and works its way into all of life in unexpected ways."1

Discussion Questions 

1. Read Mark 4:1-20, watching especially for words and phrases that are repeated. What idea or  ideas seem to dominate these verses?2  

2. Do you find anything in this parable surprising, disturbing, confusing?  

3. Why do you think “the Twelve and the others around him” get a personal explanation of Jesus’  public message (v.10) and “those on the outside” (v.11) don’t? 

4. Verses 11-12 has sparked a lot of discussion because it seems to say that Jesus’ purpose is to keep  people from believing and being converted (anti-evangelism!). Others suggest that Jesus’ is  pointing to the result or effect his parables have on the hard-hearted. Are they unable to see and  believe or unwilling to see and believe and therefore unable? How do you read it & why? 

5. What light does Jesus’ explanation (vv. 14-20) shed on his parable? On the responses in chapters 1-3?  6) When do you recall someone planting the “seed” of the Gospel in your life?  

6. According to Jesus, why does God’s Word sometimes: (a) not take root at all (v.15)? (b) take root  but wither (vv.16-17)? (c) take root but get choked off (vv.18-19)? (d) take root and produce a  harvest (v.20)? 

7. What do you think the harvest produced by the good soil refers to?  

8. What kind of “soil” best represents you? Why? 

9. What are some emotions this parable evokes in you? (thankfulness, fear, joy, confusion etc.) Why? 

10. What do you want God to do in your heart so you can bear fruit?  

1 God’s kingdom was not arriving, and would not arrive, with a “shock and awe” military campaign. It did not depend on  military force or celebrity endorsements or marketing schemes but on the sower and his seed doing their work (vv.14-20). 2 Key terms appear throughout this section, but the most important is the verb “to hear” (akouo), which occurs thirteen times  (vv.3,92x,122x in Greek & KJV,15,16,18,20,232x,24,33in Greek & in KJV)

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