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Parables: A Sower Went Out to Sow

To Remember: Our hearts (attitude) determines our response to the truth

Vocabulary

  • Sow - plant seeds
  • Sower - someone who plants seeds

Lesson

Matthew 13:3-9 And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went forth to sow; and as he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side, and the birds came and devoured them: and others fell upon the rocky places, where they had not much earth: and straightway they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And others fell upon the thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked them: and others fell upon the good ground, and yielded fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He that hath ears, let him hear.

There's more to growing plants than just dropping seeds in the ground. A farmer prepares his soil if he wants all the seeds to grow. If there are rocks or weeds in the soil, the plant will not be healthy. If the soil is tough, the seed will be eaten by birds. Only in clear, loose soil will a seed have the opportunity to grow. All the seeds are good seeds, but they can only grow in good soil. Pictures of various soils available.

Matthew 13:18-23 Hear then ye the parable of the sower. When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, [then] cometh the evil [one], and snatches away that which hath been sown in his heart. This is he that was sown by the way side. And he that was sown upon the rocky places, this is he that hears the word, and straightway with joy receives it; yet hath he not root in himself, but endures for a while; and when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, straightway he stumbles. And he that was sown among the thorns, this is he that hears the word; and the care of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. And he that was sown upon the good ground, this is he that hears the word, and understands it; who verily bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Jesus explains that our hearts are like soils and the truth is like a seed. If our hearts are hard, and don't care about Jesus, the truth can't get to us. If our hearts have trouble enduring hard times, it's like stony ground. If we let the cares of this world distract us from Jesus, it's like the seed in thorny ground. But if we open our hearts to Jesus, trust in Him to care for us, and accept His word as truth, we will be able to grow like beautiful flowers and do many things for Jesus.

 Sing: Oh the B-I-B-L-E; Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother?

Activity: Prepare 4 clear jars with soil in them. Pack down the soil in the first. Include gravel and rocks in the soil in the second. Put plastic or real plants in the third, and leave nice loose soil in the fourth. Have students drop seeds in the soils and compare how easily the seeds will sprout in each.

 

Craft: Make seed packets with "seeds" to give to friends during the week. Print out the color seed packet covers. Attach to envelopes. Print out the Bible verses on colored paper. Have students cut them apart and put them in their "seed" packet. Discuss how the Words of God are seed for them to plant in their friends' hearts.

Worksheet: Take home sheet on the sower .pdf


Attendance Sheet or Activity:
Linked here is a PDF with a picture of the sower, and a page of seeds, weeds, plants, and rocks. Print a copy of the first page for each student (or print one as a group activity). Print one or two of the second page on self-adhesive paper or on regular paper. Cut out batches of the seeds, weeds, etc and have the students place the appropriate items on the first page as they retell the parable. Use glue to attach if you didn't print it on self-adhesive paper. As an attendance chart, allow students to pick one seed or plant each week to apply to the sheet. Write their name at the top.

Activity: Print out the pictures of the soils. Give students each a token. Have them place their token on the soil they think matches the descriptions below.

  1. This heart thinks Jesus is a myth.      (packed)

  2. This heart is afraid of what his friends will think.    (stony)

  3. This heart studies to learn as much as she can.     (good)

  4. This heart thinks success lies in how much he owns.    (thorny)

  5. This heart doesn't defend the truth when it is attacked. (stony)

  6. This heart wants to please God above anything else.   (good)

  7. This heart wants to please himself above all else.    (packed)

  8. This heart doesn't always have time for God.   (thorny)

True or False

  1. We are responsible for the condition of our hearts.     T

  2. If the Bible doesn't affect someone, it means the Bible is wrong.     F

  3. Some people will only please God as long as it isn't a bother to them.     T

  4. It will always be easy to please God.      F

  5. Some people are more receptive to God's word than others.     T

  6. We have to constantly rid our hearts of distractions and temptation.    T

Review Questions(can be used with gameboard)

 linguistic questions

  1. What is a sower?

  2. What are the "cares of this world"?

  3. What is a parable?

  activity questions

  1. Act out: the sower spreading seed.

  2. Act out: the bird waiting for the seed to be spread and plucking it up.

  3. Act out: a plant trying to grow amid weeds and thorns.

  4. Act out: a plant trying to grow in stony soil.

  emotion questions

  1. How does it feel to be choked by worry and worldliness?

  2. How does it feel to be withered by heat and thirst?

  3. How does it feel to have all the nourishment and room we need to grow?

application questions

  1. What can crowd out Jesus in our life (weeds and thorns)?

  2. What ways can we react to trials? (stony ground or loose)

  3. Who is responsible for cleaning out the soil?

fact questions

  1. What does the seed represent?

  2. Who is the sower?

  3. Who picks up the seed from the pathway?

review questions

  1. Who spreads the seed?

  2. How do we keep weeds out of our heart?

  3. How do we help others "clean" their hearts?

 

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