The Story & Way of Jesus: It’s More Than I Thought (11.14.21)

Processing and responding to the Sunday sermon

Opening Prayer

After the group welcomes one another, have one person open in prayer and then take 2-3 minutes of silence. As you sit in silence, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart in love toward God and your group mates. 

The Three Parables

On Sunday, Ruthie Kim preached from Mark 4:21-34 where Jesus shifts from “showing” the Kingdom of God to using parables to teach about the Kingdom of God. Here there are three different parables that Jesus uses.

The three parables are:

It’s More Than I Thought

Ruthie helps us to understand that there is more to these three parables than we may have thought of. That is the way parables work. There is always more than we think…

The Kingdom is where God (as the Lamp) reveals hearts.  Things that are concealed are revealed. God is always communicating with us. It’s whether or not we have our ears open to hear Him and let Him light up the shadows of our hearts with His love and light so we can be saved, healed and delivered.

The Kingdom of God is Fruitful– The farmer continues to toss seed and in the good soil it grows and becomes fruitful. The seed grows with the purpose of producing fruit in it’s own season (timing).. Ruthie pointed out that the seed has it’s own schedule, not the farmers, or ours. It can be so frustrating if we look at our lives and don’t see the fruit (yet). We need to be patient for the timing of the Kingdom seeds planted in our lives.

The Kingdom of God is uncontrollable.  It starts with the smallest seed, but the seed grows into a large shrub. It will grow in ways that are not neat and tidy, but are disruptive, subversive and not what you expect. When the fullness of the Kingdom comes into our lives it may not be controllable, but it grows into a safe place for the marginalized, outsiders, and crosses boundaries.

“Jesus’ favorite speech form, the parable, was subversive. Parables sound absolutely ordinary: casual stories about soil and seeds, meals and coins and sheep, bandits and victims, farmers and merchants. And they are wholly secular: of his forty or so parables recorded in the Gospels, only one has its setting in church, and only a couple mention the name God. As people heard Jesus tell these stories, they saw at once that they weren’t about God, so there was nothing in them threatening their own sovereignty. They relaxed their defenses. They walked away perplexed, wondering what they meant, the stories lodged in their imagination. And then, like a time bomb, they would explode in their unprotected hearts. An abyss opened up at their very feet. He was talking about God; they had been invaded!”

― Eugene H. Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction

Reflection and Discussion

Read aloud Mark 4:21-34 and then prayerfully and silently reflect on the passage and these questions.

After silently reflecting, take these thoughts into a time of group discussion.

Closing Intercession

Pray for your group, our church, our city, and our world.

Special Note And Invitation To Reality SF CG Community and Congregants.

Immanuel Prayer is a beautiful way of experiencing a more intimate connection with Jesus. Reality SF has a team of Immanuel Prayer Coaches! To find out more or to sign up for an Immanuel Session – click here. You can also contact our Prayer Minister – David McKinney