The fourth chapter of Mark is a pivotal answer to a problem that has surfaced from the third chapter. Remember in the third chapter we saw some surprising challenges against Jesus. Not only were the Pharisees trying to destroy Jesus (3:6), but remember that Jesus’ own family thought Jesus is out of his mind (3:21). The scribes said that Jesus casts out demons by the prince of demons and is possessed by Beelzebul (3:22). So now we are seeing a problem. Why is everyone rejecting Jesus? Why are the religious leaders rejecting Jesus? Who is going to follow Jesus if people think he is crazy and are trying to destroy him? What is going on? Mark is going to record a series of parables in this fourth chapter to explain what is happening and why no one should be surprised by this response.
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