Outline the parable. List the objects or persons involved, what actions occurred, and the result of those actions.
Look for clues to the interpretation. Clues might include “like unto” statements Jesus made, cross-references in your scriptures, the situation or question that prompted the parable, and what you know about the people the parable was shared with.
Make a comparison. It is helpful to write down what you learn as you think about the interpretation of the parable. Ask questions about the relationship of people and objects in the parable and then see if you can write an answer to your questions.
Other Accounts of What You Read in Matthew 13
Understanding the Scriptures
|Sow (vv. 3, 27)||To plant seeds|
|Way side (vv. 4, 19)||Hard ground that has been walked on (such as a path or road)|
|Devoured (v. 4)||Ate|
|Withered away (v. 6)||Died|
|Perceive (v. 14)||Notice, be aware of|
|Waxed gross (v. 15)||Grown hard and insensitive|
|Anon (v. 20)||Sincerely|
|Dureth (v. 21)||Continues|
|Tribulation (v. 21)||Troubles|
|Deceitfulness (v. 22)||False promises|
|Tares (vv. 25–30)||Weeds (see also Bible Dictionary, “tares,” p. 780)|
|Utter (v. 35)||Speak|
|Iniquity (v. 41)||Sin|
|Wailing (vv. 42, 50)||Mournful crying|
|Vessels (v. 48)||Containers (for safekeeping)|
|Scribe (v. 52)||One who diligently studies the scriptures|
|Save (v. 57)||Except|
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A or B as you study Matthew 13.
The Parable of the Sower
The parable found in Matthew 13:3–8 has often been called the parable of the sower, but why might it also be called the parable of the soils?
From the information given in Matthew 13:3–8, 18–23, draw four pictures in your journal of what happened to the seeds in each type of soil. Beside each picture explain what you drew and what it symbolizes.
None of the soils in the parable had to stay in the condition it was in. For each type of soil, describe what would need to be done to make or keep it a place to grow healthy, fruitful plants. Also describe what this soil improvement project could symbolize in your life as you grow spiritually.
Interpret Another Parable
Choose one of the following parables or groups of parables:
Parable of the tares (Matthew 13:24–30)
Parables of the mustard seed and the leaven (Matthew 13:31–33)
Parables of the treasure and the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44–46)
Parable of the gospel net (Matthew 13:47–50)
Read the parable or parables carefully, use the suggestions for interpreting parables in the introduction to this chapter, and then write what you think the Lord was teaching about His kingdom.