Mark 4:1–34 Study Guide

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This weekend, we continued our study through the Gospel of Mark as Pastor Duane Roberts from our Boynton Beach campus taught from Mark 4:1–34. In this message, we unpacked three of Jesus’ parables on the nature of faith and the kingdom of God. 

In this week’s group study, Boca campus Worship Pastor Andrew Wooddell expands on our examination of Mark 4:1–34.



Below, you’ll find some key questions to reflect on and consider in your group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, some action points for the week, and a look ahead. 

Ice Breaker: If you could grow any one fruit, vegetable, crop, or flower, what would you grow and why?

Getting the Conversation Going: In first century Galilee­­­, there were pretty much three main economies—shepherding, farming, and fishing. And Jesus, like a good teacher and storyteller, used terms, stories, analogies, metaphors, and examples that the people He was speaking to would have understood and related to. If He were walking the earth today, He likely would have told parables about social media, technology, common careers, and other familiar, relevant, and relatable concepts. But He also told stories that were timeless and could be understood across centuries as He shared truth and revealed the mysteries of the kingdom of God. One such example is the Parable of the Sower. Here, He connects a simple idea about seeds being sown on different soil and the growth results of those seeds in relation to the soil.

“The mission is seed sowing, but only God does the growing.”

Discussion Question 1: Where are you sowing your time/abilities/love? 

Discussion Question 2: Who are you sowing into (or have sown into) spiritually? What’s been the harvest? How has your investment into their life impacted your life?

“The lamp: God’s Word illuminates and reveals what is hidden.”

The Lamp and the Light: The next concept Jesus shared centered on a lamp. Here, Jesus explained that, in general, people don’t light a candle/lamp and then hide it in a bowl. You wouldn’t turn on a lamp and then put it the closet, would you? Or turn on the flashlight on your phone and stick it in a drawer, right? Why? Because lamps, candles, and flashlights are meant to illuminate darkness, to reveal and light a room or path in order to see clearly in a given space. And in the same way, Jesus makes clear that what is obscured, concealed, hidden, or kept in the dark will be brought to light.

The Word of God is our lamp, the light that illuminates our life, makes clear our path, and reveals the things of God and the things within us that need to be brought to life. His Word reveals truth, convicts us of sin, and directs our steps in order to accomplish the will of God so we can walk in His purposes and plans for our lives. And as the light of God is shone into us, we become the lamp that God uses to shine the light of Christ into the world!

“We’re the lamp, but Jesus is the light!”

Discussion Question 3: In what ways has the Word of God illuminated your life?

Discussion Question 4: What can we do as Christ followers to shine His light into the world around us? 

The Smallest of Seeds: The third concept Jesus covered in this weekend’s passage was the Parable of the Mustard Seed. Essentially, the mustard seed is the smallest of seeds that, when planted, grows into something amazing! Friends, God can take the smallest of seeds we sow into the lives of others and grow them beyond anything we could ever imagine. He can use them to draw people to Himself, to work miracles, and to bring restoration, redemption, reconciliation, and revival! It could be as simple as sharing a verse or your testimony with someone, telling them what God is doing in your life, offering to pray for them, or serving them in a simple way.

This Week: Ask the Holy Spirit to show you someone you can sow a seed into!

Pray It Out: Share prayer requests in your group. Write down the requests of your group members, spend time praying over these requests, and keep praying individually over them throughout the week.


Looking for more info on the Gospel of Mark? Check out this page with all sorts of resources, a weekly breakdown, message takeaways and group studies, devotionals, articles, and much more!

Mark Resource Page


This weekend, we’ll continue our study through the Gospel of Mark as Pastor Doug teaches from Mark 4:35-5:20. In this message, we’ll examine the moment Jesus calms the storm, how the truth behind this amazing miracle impacts us today, and how it speaks volumes about who Jesus is.

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About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.