Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: The kingdom of heaven is too complex, too glorious to be described in a single definition. Consequently, Jesus sheds light on this realm through a series of stories, or parables. And Jesus is not simply talking about or illustrating the kingdom. By his miracles and speech events, he is bringing about the kingdom, making new creatures who, by faith, are transferred into it. The question we’re prompted to ask is: Are we part of that kingdom?
Four Types of Ground:
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. What makes the stories of Jesus disturbing?
2. What does the opening phrase in verse 1 (“that same day”) tell us about the purpose and audience of this parable?
3. Anxiety and riches (verse 22) are presented as the great destroyer of lasting faith. What does Jesus say about anxiety and riches in the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Matthew 6:24- 34)? What is Jesus’ antidote to anxiety (Matthew 6:30)?
4. Three out of four types of ground end up barren and fruitless. How does this serve to temper our expectations in evangelism? How does it also encourage us?
5. What is the “fruit” that the “good soil” produces?
6. Why is the story called the “Parable of the Sower” rather than the “Parable of the Soil”? How does this provide hope for us?
1. “Jesus said nothing to them without a parable.” – Matthew 13:34
2. Read Matthew 13:1-9.
3. Victory, Patience, Judgment (Law), and Gospel
4. The Point: While most reject the gospel of the kingdom, Jesus continues to successfully build his church, and his harvest will be rich.
5. Read Matthew 13:18.
6. “The parable is probably more often employed today as a call to members of the church to examine themselves in response to God’s word. And this application, though secondary, is surely also within the parables intention, for the careful spelling out of the causes of the seed’s failure is surely not mere scenery.” – R.T. France
7. Read Matthew 13:19.
8. Footpath [Hard-hearted]
9. Read Matthew 13:20-21
10. Rocky Ground [Hasty convert]
11. “It is possible that there may be the green blade of a confession where yet there is not the root of grace.” – Matthew Henry
12. “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” – 2 John 9
13. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us.” – 1 John 2:19
14. Read Matthew 13:22.
15. Thorn Patch [Worrier or Control Freak]
16. “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! ” – Matthew 6:26-30
17. Read Matthew 13:23.
18. Good Soil [Genuine Believer]
19. “There is no mention here of the despisers who openly repulse God’s word; it is concerned only with those who seem to be teachable.” – John Calvin
20. Application: Doing flows from believing. Fruit-bearing is a consequence of being united with Christ.