13:1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow.4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
life application questions
blue = leaders only
growing in truth: Earlier in chapter 12 the Pharisees had been challenging Jesus in their temple. Last week Jesus made it clear there is no neutral with regard to him. He is God or he is not God. You either follow or you don't. This week Jesus goes to the sea. Pressed by great crowds gathering around him he retreats to a boat off shore and speaks a parable to the crowd on shore.
What is a parable? a simple to understand story that uses comparison to illustrate a truth.
What is the simple story here? sower, seed, soil, fruit
What is the comparison being made here? sower to disciple, Gods word to seed. Mans hearing/heart to soil.
How does this parable reinforce Jesus’s earlier teachings in 12.4-7?
The idea that there is no neutral with regard to Jesus is reinforced. You are either alive in Christ bearing fruit or you are dead because the word never rooted, never rooted well or rooted but lost out to the weedy competition.
Why do you think that Jesus would tell this parable now? He wanted his disciples to understand that the work of broadcasting the word might look to be productive but not in every case would it bear fruit. Crowds were following him. The disciples probably thought that Jesus was gaining faithful followers daily. Jesus knowing the hearts in the crowds, wanted the disciples to understand that their proclamation of the gospel would be no more effective than his proclamation of the gospel. That there would be disappointments. The world the flesh and the devil will steel and choke out the seed. People will declare for Jesus but not give him the key to everything in their heart. People will not be listening or will be listening but not hearing.
And he said, "Go, and say to this people: 'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.'" Isaiah 6.9
sharing life together: Do you have a regular ministry or one that you recently engaged in? Tell us what you do. Do you as a disciple get discouraged? What challenges do you face. What help can we offer you?
living on mission: What is the best way to broad cast the word in our community? Do the Lords will in our lives. Letting others know that He is our only hope our Lord and Savior? Big splashy feeding of the 500?