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Matthew, Mark and Luke
Lesson 10
Parables of the Kingdom of God

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Reading assignment for this lesson: Matthew 13:1-52, Mark 4:1-34, Luke 8:4-18, 10:23-24, 13:18-21

A parable is a simple story that helps us understand a spiritual or moral concept. Jesus was the master of the parable, and a large part of His teachings come to us in the form of the parables He told to his disciples and other people. The plain facts of a parable story are usually meaningless in themselves. It is by analogy with the story that we gain an understanding of the spiritual or moral lesson of the parable.

Much of what Jesus told us about the kingdom of God is in the form of parables. He told many different parables, each of which gives us insight into a particular aspect of the kingdom of God.

1. Why did Jesus teach in parables? (See Matthew 13:10-17, 13:34-35, Mark 4:10-12, Luke 8:10, Psalms 78:1-2, Isaiah 6:9-10.)

2. Jesus told his Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-9, Mark 4:3-9, Luke 8:5-8) in public then explained it to His disciples in private (Matthew 13:18-23, Mark 4:13-20, Luke 8:11-15).
a) Who does the sower represent in the parable? (See Matthew 13:37.)
b) Explain the lesson of the parable in your own words.

3. What did Jesus mean by the illustration of the lamp in Mark 4:21-23 and Luke 8:16-18? (See Matthew 5:14-16, 10:26-27, 1 Corinthians 13:12, Hebrews 1:1-3.)

4. Questions 4-6 apply to Jesus' Parable of the Wheat and Weeds in Matthew 13:24-30. Jesus also explained this parable to His disciples in private (Matthew 13:36-43). The weed was probably darnel, a weed that looks practically identical to wheat in the early stages of growth. What group of people is represented by the wheat? By the weeds?

5. a) Why did the landowner not want his servants to pull out the weeds before the harvest?
b) What lesson does that teach to us? (See Matthew 5:44-45, 7:1-2, 25:31-32, Romans 2:1-4, 12:18-19, 14:9-10, 1 Corinthians 4:5.)

6. What does the parable tell about what will happen at the end of the age, when Jesus comes again? (See Matthew 25:31-46, 2 Corinthians 5:10, 2 Peter 3:7.)

7. Jesus' Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-19) tells of a tiny seed that, once planted, grows into a very large plant. What lesson does this teach us about the kingdom of God? (See Proverbs 4:18, Isaiah 61:11.)

8. Jesus' Parable of the Yeast (Matthew 13:33-34, Luke 13:20-21) is similar to the Parable of the Mustard Seed. What is the lesson of this parable?

9. The The Parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4:26-29) has a meaning that goes beyond the parables of the mustard seed and yeast. What is it? (See Job 11:7, 1 Corinthians 13:9-12.)

10. The Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Matthew 13:44) and Parable of the Pearl of Great Value (Matthew 13:45-46) teach the same lesson about the kingdom of God. What is that lesson? (See Psalms 19:7-10, Luke 14:31-33, Philippians 3:8.)

11. How is the Parable of the Fishing Net (Matthew 13:47-50) similar to the Parable of the Wheat and Weeds in Matthew 13:24-30?

12. What did Jesus mean in Matthew 13:52?

13. a) What have you learned about the kingdom of God from these parables?
b) What things will you do differently as a result?

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