Parables In Mark’s Gospel: Book Verses & Passages

Explore the parables in Mark’s Gospel Book of the Bible. These parables in Mark told by Jesus Christ illustrate spiritual truths about the meaning of the Kingdom of God, living rightly according to the Word, and other important topics using everyday things like clothing, lamps, and seeds.

This guide is divided into two sections:

  • The first part includes a list of all parables in the Book of Mark with the Bible verse locations for quick reference.
  • The second part lists the passages from each of Jesus’ parables in order so you can read them on this page.

Parables In Mark List of Verses

No.ParableMark Verse
1New Cloth and New WineskinsMark 2:21–22
2The Divided KingdomMark 3:22–30
3The SowerMark 4:3–20
4The Lamp On a StandMark 4:21–25
5The Growing SeedMark 4:26–29
6The Mustard SeedMark 4:30–32
7The TenantsMark 12:1–11
8The Fig TreeMark 13:28–31
Source: Book of Mark

Parables In the Book of Mark Passages

Parable of the Cloth and New Wineskins

Passage: Mark 2:21–22

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, or else the patch shrinks and the new tears away from the old, and a worse hole is made. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the skins, and the wine pours out, and the skins will be destroyed; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins.”

Parable of the Divided Kingdom

Passage: Mark 3:22–30

The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul,” and, “By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons.”

He summoned them and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. If Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he can’t stand, but has an end. But no one can enter into the house of the strong man to plunder unless he first binds the strong man; then he will plunder his house.

“Most certainly I tell you, all sins of the descendants of man will be forgiven, including their blasphemies with which they may blaspheme; but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.”—because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Parable of the Sower

Passage: Mark 4:3–20

“Listen! Behold, the farmer went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and devoured it. Others fell on the rocky ground, where it had little soil, and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil. When the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Others fell amongst the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. Others fell into the good ground and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing. Some produced thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times as much.” He said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”

When he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. He said to them, “To you is given the mystery of God’s Kingdom, but to those who are outside, all things are done in parables, that ‘seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand, lest perhaps they should turn again, and their sins should be forgiven them.’ ”

He said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How will you understand all of the parables? The farmer sows the word. The ones by the road are the ones where the word is sown; and when they have heard, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. These in the same way are those who are sown on the rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy. They have no root in themselves, but are short-lived. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they stumble. Others are those who are sown amongst the thorns. These are those who have heard the word, and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Those which were sown on the good ground are those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit, some thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times.”

Parable of the Lamp On a Stand

Passage: Mark 4:21–25

He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it put on a stand? For there is nothing hidden except that it should be made known, neither was anything made secret but that it should come to light. If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.”

He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you; and more will be given to you who hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and he who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away from him.”

Parable of the Growing Seed

Passage: Mark 4:26–29

He said, “God’s Kingdom is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, though he doesn’t know how. For the earth bears fruit by itself: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Parable of the Mustard Seed

Passage: Mark 4:30–32

He said, “How will we liken God’s Kingdom? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? It’s like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, yet when it is sown, grows up and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow.”

Parable of the Tenants

Passage: Mark 12:1–11

He began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the wine press, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country. When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard. They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty. Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. Again he sent another, and they killed him, and many others, beating some, and killing some. Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those farmers said amongst themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others. Haven’t you even read this Scripture:

‘The stone which the builders rejected
was made the head of the corner.
This was from the Lord.
It is marvellous in our eyes’?”

Parable of the Fig Tree

Passage: Mark 13:28–31

“Now from the fig tree, learn this parable. When the branch has now become tender and produces its leaves, you know that the summer is near; even so you also, when you see these things coming to pass, know that it is near, at the doors. Most certainly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

More Parables In the Gospels

The Gospel of Mark is not the only book of the Bible that includes parables. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke also contain many of the same parables as well as unique parables for their intended audience. Use these other guides below to find more of Jesus’ parables in the Synoptic Gospels.

Summary for the Parables In Mark

We hope you enjoyed this list of parables in Mark.

As you discovered, there are many parables in the Book of Mark that Jesus told to His listeners to illustrate spiritual lessons about the meaning of the Kingdom of God, living in accordance with the Word, and other important topics. Hopefully, these Gospel of Mark parables have given you wisdom on how to live out your faith in God as a follower of Jesus Christ.

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