18: Parables of the Kingdom (1) (Mt 13:1-23)
In the face of
growing opposition, the Lord Jesus gave His third discourse, which served as
both revelation and warning. Unlike the other major discourses, Jesus here
spoke in parables. While the meaning of these parables was hidden from the
people in general, it was revealed to the followers of Christ. In fulfillment
of Old Testament prophecy, the Lord here spoke of what God has kept secret
since the beginning— the advancement and final consummation of the kingdom of
“He answered and
said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the
kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given’” (13:11).
Did You Know…?
Parables (13:3): Our word
“parable” comes from the Greek parabole, which means
“a placing beside”—and thus a comparison or an illustration. Its most common
use in the NT is for the illustrative stories that Jesus drew from nature and
human life. 8/1457
Stony places (13:5): Not ground
covered with small stones, but shallow soil on top of solid rock. 8/1457
1. What were the
two settings where Jesus spoke these parables? Who were the two groups of
2. Do you see a symmetry in the two groups of parables?
1. Think of a modern scenario (example) for each
of the four kinds of soil.
1a. Seeds that
fell by the wayside
1b. Seeds that
fell on stony places
1c. Seeds that
fell among thorns
1d. Seeds that
fell on good soil
2. What is the point of this parable?
3. How can you be a good soil and let God’s word
take root in you?
4. What are “the cares of this world and the
deceitfulness of riches”? How do they “choke” the word (22)?
5. What fruit does the Lord want us to yield (23)?
6. What is the teaching behind “he
who has ears to hear, let him hear” (9)?
7a. What are the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”?
7b. Who are the ones who have been given to know the mysteries
of the kingdom of heaven (11)? What does it take for us to “understand” the
word of the kingdom (19,23)?
8a. Why did Jesus use parables instead of just teaching the
8b. Does verse 15 teach that God does not want certain people to understand
9. What are the symptoms of “hearts grown dull and
ears hard of hearing”? Do you sometimes see these symptoms in yourself?
10. How are we
as blessed as the disciples (16,17)