Chapter 6: Matthew 13

New Testament Video Guide, (2001), 7


To help students understand and apply parables in their lives.

Before the Video

Object Lesson

Have the students compare an object (like a pencil) with a principle of the gospel (like repentance). Ask, “What term do we use when Jesus tells a story and compares it to a gospel truth?” (see Mark 4:34). Explain that there were times when the Lord only taught in parables.

Using the Video

Parables 13:25

Show Segment 1

Show students segment 1 (:27) without giving any background. The students will probably not see creatures that are camouflaged in their surroundings.


Have the students identify what they saw (branches and ocean floor).

Show Segment 2

Segment 2 (:36) is a repeat of segment 1, but this time the creatures move, making them visible.


Discuss why it was difficult to see the creatures in segment 1 and easy to see them in segment 2. (They were hidden in their surroundings.) Like the camouflaged creatures, one reason the Savior taught in parables was to conceal the meaning.

Scripture Insight

Help the students understand Matthew 13:13 and the concept “they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not.” Those who are spiritually in tune and who understand gospel principles will understand. Those who are unwilling to accept Christ’s teachings hear only a story.

“Look For” Activity

Have the students look for three steps that will help them understand parables.

Show Segment 3

The word parable is Greek in origin and means “setting side by side,” or a comparison. Segment 3 (12:22) illustrates three steps students can use to help them make the comparison.

After the Video


Identify and discuss the three steps for understanding parables. During the discussion you may wish to use the other six parables in Matthew 13 to practice as a class. Allow students to take the lead in the discussion as their skills improve.


The following outline shows the three steps that can help students understand parables:

  1. 1.

    Outline the parable

    1. a.

      Objects or persons

    2. b.


    3. c.

      Results of actions

  2. 2.

    Find the clues

    1. a.

      “Like unto” statements

    2. b.


    3. c.

      Background information

      1. 1)

        What situation or question generated the parable? (see Luke 15).

      2. 2)

        Who was the parable told to? What were the people like? (see Luke 10:25–37).

  3. 3.

    Make the comparison

    1. a.

      Write down the comparisons found from the clues.

    2. b.

      Ask questions about the relationship between people, objects, actions, and results.


Help students apply parables by asking questions like the following:

  • What doctrine should I understand from this parable?

  • Which of the people in the parable am I most like?

  • What is the parable telling me to do to better myself?