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Mark 4:30

ESV And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?
NIV Again he said, 'What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?
NASB And He was saying, 'How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?
CSB And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it?
NLT Jesus said, 'How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?
KJV And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

What does Mark 4:30 mean?

While studying the parables that describe the kingdom of God, it's interesting to note that earthly kingdoms, themselves, are a type of parable. A kingdom is a realm over which a monarch has authority to make decisions. Naturally, the kingdom will come to reflect the character of the king, whether that be strong, weak, benevolent, or corrupt.

The kingdom of God is not a sovereign state on earth, but whatever part of creation shows God's sovereignty and power. Whatever is holy, grace-filled, and obedient to Scriptures is God's kingdom. God uses different methods for illustrating His kingdom. During the time between Eden and the Flood, God interacted through personal conscience. This was an abject failure on the part of man, because people will not be "good" by choice. The Mosaic Law showed that people cannot manifest God's kingdom by threat of civil punishment, either.

The parable of the mustard seed is a description of the dispensation of grace. This is the time of the church when the Holy Spirit will dwell in each believer, giving them power to spread Jesus' message and draw even more people to a saving relationship with Him. The church will spread quickly, reaching more and more people. But, in the end, it will show that even with the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives, people are completely incapable of perfect obedience or fully bringing God's kingdom to earth.
What is the Gospel?
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