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Passage: Mark 3:20-4:34

Mark 3:20-4:34 – Jesus Teaches in Parables


Jesus tells a number of parables that describe his ministry, the growth of the word, and the reign of God.


A charge against Jesus, accusing him of being in league with the ruler of demons, inaugurates this section of teaching in parables (3:20-27). Jesus' parables use images of forgiveness (3:28-30), doing God's will (3:31-35), sowing seed (4:1-12), seed growing in various soils (4:13-20), light (4:21-23), hearing (4:24-25), seed growing by itself (4:26-29), and a mustard seed (4:30-32). This cluster of passages concludes with the statement that Jesus "did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples" (4:34). This is the only collection of parable-teaching in the Gospel of Mark.