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18: Parables of the Kingdom (1) (Mt 13:1-23)
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18: Parables of the Kingdom (1) (Mt 13:1-23)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

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 heaven.

B.     Key Verse

“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).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.       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

2.       Stony places (13:5): Not ground covered with small stones, but shallow soil on top of solid rock. 8/1457

II.    Observation

A.     Outline





B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1. What were the two settings where Jesus spoke these parables? Who were the two groups of audience?

2. Do you see a symmetry in the two groups of parables?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     13:3-9, 18-23

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)?

B.     13:10-17

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 people plainly?

8b. Does verse 15 teach that God does not want certain people to understand the mysteries?

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)

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