Instagram Jesus Week 3: Devotional Day 4
DAY 4 – Thursday
Every story where we learn who Jesus is also gives us a chance to evaluate our response to Jesus. A good summary of those responses can be found in the parable of the seeds in Mark 4:3-9. How do you see yourself in the different responses to Jesus?
In the commentary Mark for Everyone, N. T. Wright notes that parables are like political cartoons. To understand the meaning of the drawing, we need to know the code associated with it. Read vv. 14-20 following today’s reading. In these verses, Jesus gives his disciples the code by which to understand the parable.
As Jesus explains, the parable describes four different responses to the good news. Throughout the Gospel of Mark, we see examples of each of these various responses demonstrated. Can you identify at least one example in Mark’s narrative for each of the four responses?
Different people have different responses to the good news. Notice, though that it is not just that different people have different responses to the good news. The same person may have different responses at different times.
We may all find ourselves going through seasons of life according the four responses.
Have you ever found yourself hearing the Gospel, but it seems to be going in one ear and out the other (like walking through the doors of amnesia after Sunday service)? Have you ever received God’s promises with joy, yet questioned those same promises when trials arise? Have you let other voices drown out the voice of God? Or have you ever experienced the fruitfulness that comes with the Gospel taking a secure root? I encourage you to be open with your LifeGroup and share what sort of season you may be in right now.
In the same way political cartoons often point to something that needs to change, Jesus is using this parable to evoke change in our own lives. Be like the good soil! Certainly this is a work of the Holy Spirit, but there are practices we can do to help cultivate the soil. Discuss in your LifeGroups what this might look like.
 N. T. Wright, Mark for Everyone, New Testament for Everyone (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), 48.