Parables of the Kingdom

Parables of the Kingdom

Study by Toby Ziglar
Commentary by Brett Younger

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Brief Description

Jesus’ parables highlight values like patience, tolerance, receptivity, and humility. As descriptions of life in the kingdom, especially when approached in a season of Lenten reflection, they challenge us to mold our earthly lives to reflect our hopes for the future.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus outlines the qualifications for participation in his work by comparing the way people hear and respond to his message to the way different soil receives seed and bears fruit. How we receive the word of God, Jesus tells us, determines how productive we can be in continuing Jesus’ ministry.

The second lesson continues the theme of germination and growth as we consider the seed growing secretly and the mustard seed. By exploring the mystery of the growth of small, seemingly insignificant seeds into healthy plants, we will consider how we can participate in God’s kingdom work through patience and humility.

With the parable of the weeds, our focus will shift to how we think about and treat others. Jesus calls us to tolerance and inclusion by reminding us that only God can judge the true nature of people.

Our fourth lesson considers the parable of the wages, in which Jesus explains that everyone will be given equal treatment in the kingdom. Though we, like the first laborers, might think our faithfulness entitles us to a greater reward, Jesus gives us a humbling reminder that “the first will be last” (Mt 20:16).

The parable of the rent pulls us toward Good Friday as we recall the events of Jesus’ arrest and trial. In exploring why the workers would abuse and even kill the vineyard owner’s son, Jesus calls us to consider what makes his work and message so distasteful.

As we encounter these parables in this season of Lent, let us hear Jesus’ message of God’s coming kingdom as a charge to live differently so that we might approach Easter with greater openness to the challenges of God’s word and increased trust in its promises.

Materials Included
• 5 Sessions of Learner’s Materials
• 5 Sessions of Teaching Materials
• 5 Handouts
Sessions Included
1. The Sower
2. The Seed
3. The Weeds
4. The Wages
5. The Rent

Age Group

1. Mark 4:1-20
2. Mark 4:26-34
3. Matthew 13:24-30
4. Matthew 20:1-16
5. Mark 12:1-12

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