"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
Identify a parable within the Gospels, the main point that Jesus was trying to make within the parable, and how that should affect the life of the believer. Base your response on the lecture and the textbook readings. Cite references from your reading to support your answer.
The parables are a blessing and a collection of infinite wisdom of God, making it hard to pick out which one I would like to identify. I will have to go with Mark 4:1-9 or commonly known as the Parable of The Sower.
Mark 4:1-9 (NKJV)
The Parable of the Sower
1And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. 2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:
3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the aircame and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
To understand this parable, we must first consider the steps that an article by Mark Bailer describes, which are: ”understand the setting, uncover the need that prompted it, analyze the structure/details, state the central truth of the parable and its relationship to the Kingdom, and respond to the intended appeal of the parable.” This parable has a much simpler meaning behind it than most I have studied, but yet it still portrays the knowledge of God that many who have heard the Gospel may not receive it. It begins with a sower, who represents a minister of the Gospel in the field. Jesus uses the metaphor of a farmer putting out seed to represent the sower. This is interesting that Jesus uses this metaphor as our text by William Klein and Robert Hubbard mentions a characteristic of parables as, “Earthiness: Almost all the parables are told within a setting in which the images in the parables are supported by earthy details. Understanding these details is crucial to understanding the parable itself.”
As the sower sows the seed, it lands on various types of terrain. This terrain represents the various individuals and ministry opportunities that we will come across while sowing God’s Word into the field. Some of the individuals that we will sow the Gospel to may be similar to the seeds who were devoured by the “birds” which represents the ones that the enemy immediately deceives. Many sinners will receive the Gospel and believe, but like seed sown on stony ground they will not weather the storms of life. The slightest problems arise and they do not have a solid foundation and grounding in their faith, which will cause them to fall. The seed that grew among the thorns represents those who have heard and received the Gospel. These believers go for a while and serve God, but are later surrounded by the thorns which represent distractions. These distractions cause them to lose focus and eventually their “first love”. The Scripture also tells us that it causes them to become “unfruitful”. Those seed which are sown on good ground turn into believers who hear the Gospel, repent, and continually serve Christ throughout the remainder of their life. This type of believer will bear the “fruit” evident in a true believers life. We should all consider what Jesus is saying in this parable and strive to be that seen sown on good ground. In our service to God, we should not concern ourselves with what kind of terrain our seeds falls on, but rather focus on sowing as only that person can control if they remain in service to Christ.
 Mark L. Bailey, “Guidelines For Interpreting Jesus’ Parables,” Bibliotheca Sacra 155, (January-March 1996): 30-37, accessed July 6th, 2017, https://lc-grad3.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/externalLinks/externalLinks.html?operation=redirectToExternalLink&externalLink=https%3A%2F%2Flopes.idm.oclc.org%2Flogin%3Furl%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fsearch.ebscohost.com%2Flogin.aspx%3Fdirect%3Dtrue%26db%3Drfh%26AN%3DATLA0000998292%26site%3Dehost-live%26scope%3Dsite
 Klein, William W., Blomberg, Craig L., Hubbard, Robert L. JR. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc., 2004