Bible Stories for Adults

Parables of the Kingdom

Matthew 13:31-50

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Shows His Glory (Matthew 17:1-9)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news! Mark 1:15

Opening Prayer

Jesus' First Year Approach (Matthew 4:23-25)
    How did Jesus reveal Himself and His Kingdom early in His ministry?
      Matthew 4:23-25
    How difficult was it for Him to get permission to teach in the synagogues?
      Luke 4:15-16
    How was He received by the Jewish leaders early in His ministry?
      John 3:1-2

The Reception Changes (Matthew 12:14)
    How did this reception change by His second year?
      Matthew 12:1-2, 9-10, 13-14
    How did they explain the great miracles, healings and exorcisms Jesus performed?
      Matthew 12:22-24
    How did Jesus show He was giving up on trying to reach the Jewish leaders?
      Luke 11:15-16, 29

Jesus Changes His Approach (Matthew 13:1-3, 10-15, 34-35)
    No longer invited to preach in the synagogues, where did Jesus now focus His teaching efforts?
      Matthew 13:1-2
    How did His style change to reveal His Kingdom to believers but not to those who rejected Him?
      Matthew 13:3a
    Is this really the reason He spoke in parables?
      Matthew 13:10-12
    Was Jesus purposely hiding the secrets of the kingdom of heaven from those who rejected Him?
      Matthew 10:13-15

    How dramatic of a change did Jesus make in His teaching style at this time?
      Matthew 13:34-35
    How did He make sure His inner circle of apostles understood these secret truths?
      Mark 4:33-34

Understanding Jesus' Parables (Matthew 13:16-17)
    As Christians, is it a simple matter for us to understand these parables?
      Matthew 13:16-17
    Did the disciples understand the parables when Jesus told them?
      Matthew 13:36
    Did they understand them after He explained them?
      Matthew 13:51

    How can we hope to understand Jesus' parables while others could not?
      1 Corinthians 2:7-10a
    What should we do to better understand God's great mysteries?
      Ephesians 1:17-18
    What parable did Jesus give to tell us what to do with the understandings God gives us?
      Matthew 13:52

Six Points on Parables from Barclay
    Parables make truth concrete
      Matthew 23:27-28
    Parables use here and now to get there and then
      Revelation 21:18-19a, 21
    Parables compel interest
      Luke 6:46-49
    Parables compel the hearer to discover truth for himself
      Matthew 21:28-31
    Parables conceal truth from those who don't want it
      John 2:18-21
      Matthew 26:59-61
    Parables were spoken
      Luke 14:31-33

The Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23)
    What well-known parable does Jesus begin with that begins to explain the kingdom of heaven?
      Matthew 13:3-8
    How did Jesus conclude this parable that pointed the people toward its meaning?
      Matthew 13:9
    How did Jesus make sure the people understood the connection?
      Matthew 13:18-23
    Was Jesus describing a political kingdom that would be founded by the promised Messiah?
      Luke 17:20-21
    What key point was Jesus making about the kingdom of heaven in this parable?
      Matthew 22:14

The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)
    How did Jesus build on this theme to describe the lives of those in this kingdom?
      Matthew 13:24-30
    Jesus didn't explain this parable to the crowd. Was it because the message was so obvious?
      Matthew 13:36
    What was Jesus trying to say about the kingdom of heaven?
      Matthew 13:37-43
    How were these parables responding to Jesus' encounters with Pharisees earlier that day?
      Matthew 12:33-37

    Are we to work to uproot weeds of false Christians by shooting holes in their positions?
      Matthew 13:29
    How are we to keep false Christianity from damaging Christians and their faith?
      Matthew 13:7

The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32)
    What short parable did Jesus give next without any explanation?
      Matthew 13:31-32
    Though not the smallest, Jews referred to the mustard seed when describing something small
      Khardah - Mustard plant grew into a tree-like shrub up to 10-20 ft tall
        Wide fan-like branches were strong enough for birds to roost in fall
    What is the common explanation of the mustard seed parable?
      Acts 1:15; 2:41, 47b
    What is the understanding of the birds in this explanation?
      Ezekiel 17:23 (31:6)
    What is another explanation of the meaning behind the mustard seed?
      1 Peter 2:2

    How do some scholars explain this parable in the context of weeds in the wheat?
      2 Corinthians 11:2-4
    Shouldn't we accept everyone who wants to become a member?
      Acts 8:9, 18-21
    Why should we be careful about how the church grows?
      Revelation 3:15-16
    What is the purpose of mentioning the birds under this explanation?
      Matthew 13:4, 19

The Parable of the Leaven (Matthew 13:33)
    What other short parable did Jesus then give to further His lesson on the Kingdom of Heaven?
      Matthew 13:33
      Three pecks of flour (about a bushel) was as much as a woman could handle - fed 100
    What is the common interpretation of this parable?
      1 Thessalonians 5:23
    With all other Biblical references to leaven denoting evil, how do some explain this parable?
      1 Corinthians 5:6-8
      Matthew 16:11-12

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl (Matthew 13:44-46)
    What parables did Jesus give to describe the unmatched value of the Kingdom of Heaven?
      Matthew 13:44-46
    What is one view of the meaning behind these parables?
      Colossians 2:2-3
      Matthew 6:19-21

    What other interpretation is also given?
      Luke 19:10
    What strengthens this explanation?
      Revelation 5:9

The Parable of the Net (Matthew 13:47-50)
    What parable did Jesus give to finish His lesson on the Kingdom of Heaven?
      Matthew 13:47-48
    How did He make sure this lesson wouldn't be lost by the Bible scholars?
      Matthew 13:49-50

The Parable of the Householder (Matthew 13:51-52)
    Should we be concerned about differing understandings and insights of Jesus' parables?
      Matthew 13:51-52
    How do we know if what we reveal is God's good intention?
      Luke 6:43-45

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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