To help students understand and apply parables in their lives.
Before the Video
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
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.
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:
Outline the parable
Objects or persons
Results of actions
Find the clues
Make the comparison
Write down the comparisons found from the clues.
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?