3. a. A parable is a fictitious story used by rabbis and other teachers to illustrate an important lesson. Parables featured people whereas allegories usually feature animals, nature, etc. Strong’s references 30 different Greek words translated as parable in the New Testament. Other definitions for the various words are comparison, allegory, poetic discourse, proverb, and metaphor.
b. Since Matthew organized his gospel by grouping together sermon teachings, miracles, and now parables, I don’t think we can assume by the parable’s placement, Jesus changed his style of teaching.
Update: I came across this while working on Day 3. Luke’s gospel is written in a seemingly more chronological manner, so it may be that Jesus began to use parables once He had chosen a group of disciples to train. Since the multitudes were proving to be poor soil, He spoke to them in parables and explained them to those who pressed in for understanding.
c. The seed is the message about the kingdom of God.
4. Additional phrases included in the Luke passage shown in bold:
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,
“‘though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.’
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
5. a. A follower/believer/disciple of Jesus Christ
b. Types of soil…
- Hardened—a person who hears but does not understand
- Rocky and shallow soil—a person who hears the word and accepts it with joy but the root is shallow caused it to wither quickly
- Soil full of thorny weeds—a person who hears the word but the worries, love of riches and pleasure choke out the word so that it does not bear fruit
- Good soil—”someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
- John 14:15 — Show our love by obeying His commands.
- John 15:5 —Remain in an intimate and organic relationship with Jesus.
- Acts 5:29 — Obey God rather than men.
- Philippians 2:12–13 — Keep up your responsive obedience. Redouble your efforts. Be reverent and sensitive before God. Remember that God Himself is willing and working deep within you.