The Parable of The Soils (Mark 4:1-20)

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TEXT: Mark 4:1-20

In The Parable of the Soils Jesus shows us that there are many ways to hear God’s word. We can hear with hard, shallow, distracted hearts. Or we can hear with receptive hearts that receive the word in a transformative way. Jesus’ words here are both challenging and encouraging. We’re challenged to evaluate our own hearts as we hear God’s word and encouraged to prayerfully trust God as we sow the seeds of the gospel around us. 


  1. HEAD: Questions aimed at our minds to help us understand God’s word.

    • The parables of Jesus are more than just sermon illustrations. Jesus has a specific purpose and intention with the parables. Discuss the purpose of Jesus’ parables in light of Mark 4:10-12.

    • How would you summarize the main point of this parable in 1 or 2 sentences?

  2. HEART: Questions aimed at our affections to help us love God.

    • The first 3 soils all have one thing in common: The seed of God’s word is ultimately rejected by hard, shallow, and distracted hearts (v.15-19). Describe ways you this kind of rejection of God around you today.

    • How does this parable challenge you to evaluate the condition of your own heart as you hear God’s word? In what ways are you tempted to…

      1. Ignore God?

      2. Abandon God in seasons of difficulty?

      3. Become enticed by the pleasures of this world?

  3. HANDS: Questions aimed at our hands to help us live for God (Personally, Communally, and Missionally).

    • The fruitful heart of v.20 receives the word and produces the fruit of righteousness in exponential ways. Describe ways you have seen in seed of God’s word grow in your life and in the lives of one another.

    • Read mark 4:26-29. One purpose of these Kingdom Parables is to spur us on mission as we take the gospel to the world around us. Our role is to sow the seed of God’s word and prayerfully trust God to give growth. How are you doing this?