Why do you think Jesus choose to tell this story now? (verse 4)
In this story, who is the farmer? What is the seed? The birds? The soil? The crop?
Why didn’t Jesus just say plainly what He wanted to say? Why did He teach in parables? (verse 9-10)
The first group of seeds (that fell along the path, were trampled on, and eaten up by birds) illustrates the story of people who hear God’s word, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts so that they may not believe and be saved. How exactly does this happen? How does the devil “take away the word from their hearts?”
The second group of seeds (that fell on the rock and withered because it lacked moisture) illustrates the story of people who receive the word with joy, but have no root. They “believe” for a while but fall away in time of testing. Why do you think some professed-Christians draw closer to Christ in times of testing, while others fall away? What does it mean and look like to have deep roots in Christ?
The third group of seeds (that fell among the thorns but were choked out), illustrates the story of people who hear the word, but are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, hence they never mature. Every one of us has days when life’s worries, pleasures, and riches make a concerted effort to “choke out” our faith. What are some practical ways to fight back and keep your faith from being choked out by the concerns of life? (What has worked for you?)
The fourth group of seeds (that fell on good soil, yielded a crop a hundred times more than was sown) illustrates the story of people with a noble and good heart, who hear God’s word, retain it, and by persevering, produce a good crop.
What “soil” best represents you now? (What area of your heart is like the hard path? Thin soil? Choked out? Receptive to God’s word?)
Each illustration involves hearing. What does it really mean to “hear?”
What are some ways to retain God’s word with a noble and good heart?
What does it mean to “yield a crop a hundred times more than was sown?” What does this look like in your life?
What good crop would Christ have you produce in your life this coming week?