Small Group Notes

Small Group notes for 22nd September

Stories of the King | Responding

Matthew 13:1-13    

The parable of the sower - or would it be better called the parable of the soils?

Glance back at Chapter 12 and remind yourselves of the stern opposition and criticism Jesus faced.

Jesus spoke to a large crowd; but how many stayed the course with Jesus? Reflect on times in your own life: major events with ‘000s enthusiastically present, and a small follow up. Superficiality makes interest wane before it takes root. Can you identify with this parable, with seeds falling on different soils?

Stories abound of people turning up late in life to say ‘thank you’ to someone (e.g. Sunday School teacher, work colleague, etc) for sowing the seed years earlier – and maybe that person has been written off as a lost cause. Can you recall a story and thus encourage one another – maybe even have a story from your personal experience?

The sower – or the soils? As we seek to sow, consider some of the soils (in this community) and the challenges:

  • the hardened soil on the path – those who are (or so it seems) indifferent to the seed of the kingdom – it’s simply not relevant.
  • the rocky soil – those for whom the Word of God is just today’s good idea, but the full consequences of its message aren’t thought through and, when the going gets a bit tough, it’s forgotten.
  • the thorny ground – those who are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life (Luke 8: 14)
  • the good ground, the good soil – where faith is real and alive, a relationship developed with God.

Or is our job simply to sow – and leave it at that? The Kingdom of God cannot fail hence, surely, we are required to keep sowing. Like the farmer who can experience frustration, how do you cope with frustration that seeds sown seem not to grow?

The parable is actually a short story. This story kept the attention of, and had an immediate impact on, Jesus’ hearers. Do you have a short, attention-catching story which you can tell as you seek to sow the seed of God’s word?