This week we are exploring how Jesus was known as a Teacher.  Certainly he was aware of this, since he intentionally gathered disciples like a rabbi, a Jewish religious teacher.  He consciously cultivated that image, not just with a few followers, but he also gathered crowds and spoke to them, like in today’s reading:

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 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, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”

(Matthew 13:1-9 ESV)

There are a few things we can notice about the story he told.  First, the seed is the same.  We’ll see tomorrow that it’s the good news of God’s kingdom coming to earth, where everything in our broken world is being set right once again.  In particular, sin and death will no longer have the power to separate us from God.

Secondly, the sower is the same.  Jesus is the one who brings this news, and actually makes it happen.

But the four different soils all respond quite differently to the seed.

  • The path is hard beaten with no protection.  The seed stays on the surface, and birds snatch it up.
  • The rocky ground does not have enough soil, so although it began growing, that seed died when the sun came out.
  • The seed that grew near thorns started to grow as well, but then the weeds choked it out.
  • Finally there is good soil – but even then it produces grain in varying quantities.

Question: What do you think these four soils represent?
Meeting with a Group?  Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide

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