- The parable of the sower (or ‘the soils’) may be regarded as a parable to explain why our Lord taught in parables. How did this method serve to reveal truth to some and to hide it from others?
- In the parable of the sower what were the reasons why the same seed produced such different results? What conditions are signified by the different kinds of soil? What is indispensable to fruitfulness?
- What is the teaching of the parable of the wheat and the tares (verses 24-30)?
- Verses 31-33 records two parables on the theme of growth. What is the main message of these verses? Do these verses include warnings against possible dangers?
- Verses 44-50 illustrate different ways by which individuals may enter the kingdom. What are these? Why is there a mixture of good and bad? What is the condition of true enjoyment?
- What can we learn from the closing verses of chapter 13 about the nature of prejudice? Of what can it deprive us, and why?
- In the story of 14:1-12, identify the distinctive characteristics of both Herod and John the Baptist; what is the difference between John’s faithfulness and Herod’s keeping of his promise?
- Consider the miracles of these verses as parables in action. What particularly do you learn from the response and failure of the disciples? For what qualities do we need to pray if we are to be found faithful?
- From the same stories consider the light cast on the person of Christ. What characteristics are unmistakably revealed?