Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Luke 8:4-15

What is a parable? A parable is a fictitious or made up story designed to teach a lesson through comparison. When you hear the story, you can relate it to your own life. It is like an illustration for the points in a sermon. It conveys its message of truth through analogy, through comparison or contrast.

Parables are told so that only those who really care will come to know the truth. Not so much because they understand the parable, but because they care enough to ask what it means after the story is finished and hang around long enough to have it explained to them. The others don’t really care and leave. Remember, the disciples didn’t understand the parables, but they asked what Jesus meant after the crowds left. They had a soft and open heart. Understanding is an issue of the heart. Those who have a hard heart, also have closed eyes and closed ears and they don’t understand. Another purpose for parables was to reveal truths about the kingdom of God. (Content taken from Bible.org)
As you read and study together, make sure to work hard at hearing from everyone that has gathered together. Pray for one another and be accountable to applying the word of God to your lives.

Questions for this week:

  1. Read Luke 8:1-18. How would you describe the focus of this parable? Who is Jesus’ audience? Why do you think He uses several agrarian examples in His teachings about the Kingdom of God?
  2. This is a parable about the types of responses people will have when hearing the Word of God. Specifically, there are 4 types of responses: the hard path, the rocks, the thorns, and the good soil. Is this parable only dealing with evangelism or do you also see an application in all of the responses for the believer?
  3. How would you describe the current status of your heart if given only these 4 descriptions found in Luke 8:4-15? What ideas do you have about fostering a better internal environment in which the Word can more fruitfully dwell?
  4. Think of a time you got into a Facebook/email argument…maybe about politics. Discuss with your group how that usually goes. How often does the other person change their mind compared to how often they stay the same? Arguing your way into people’s hearts rarely works. Think about why Christ says “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Why do you think he said this to groups of people who proudly thought they already knew everything about their religion?
  5. If you possessed the wisdom of Christ, might you be tempted to prove everyone wrong through argument and logic? Would that have won over their hearts? Why/why not? Describe how the seeds in the weeds might apply to our Facebook and email arguing. Is our love being choked out by our anger and worry about life?
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