The Preaching of the Gospel
Lesson 10

In the early part of His ministry, Christ spoke to the people in words that were too plain to be misunderstood, but for the most part, the truths spoken did not take root. Desiring to awaken an interest that would lead to serious inquiry, Jesus turned to another method of teaching with which he sought to awaken an interest in the careless and impress their minds with the truth. Using the scenes upon which the eye daily rested, Jesus illustrated the truth with their everyday experiences.

There was also another reason Jesus used parables. Some of the truths he wished to teach, the people were not then prepared to accept. By connecting His teaching with the scenes of life, He not only secured their attention, but afterwards as they observed the objects that illustrated His lessons, they recalled His words and to those minds open to the Holy Spirit, His teachings would become clear as they pondered His words. By using a variety of illustrations, Jesus not only presented truth in various ways, but He also presented it in its different phases. And, in connecting the natural to the spiritual world, ever afterward lessons of eternal value were linked with their daily experiences and kept fresh before their minds.

And there was yet another reason Jesus taught in parables. Among those who gathered to listen to Him were priests and rabbis who desired above all else to find something in His teaching for which they might accuse Him and cause His condemnation. In parables He rebuked their hypocrisy and wicked works and in figurative language clothed the truth in such a way that though they understood the cutting truths He presented, there was nothing in that which He said that they could use against Him.

1. What method of teaching did Jesus most frequently employ?

Matthew 13:34
Matthew 13:34

2. What reason did Jesus give for teaching in parables?

Matthew 13:13
Matthew 13:13

3. How do we understand spiritual truth?

Romans 1:20
Romans 1:20

4. To what did Jesus liken the preaching of the gospel?

Matthew 13:3
Matthew 13:3

5. Who is represented by the Sower?

Matthew 13:37
Matthew 13:37

6. What is represented by the seed sown?

Luke 8:11
Luke 8:11

7. What are Christ’s words to us?

John 6:63
John 6:63

8. When we accept Christ’s words, what do we receive?

John 5:24
John 5:24

Note: In every promise of the Word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. Received into the soul by faith the seed will bring forth character and life after the similitude of the life and character of God.

9. Upon how many types of soil did the seed fall?

Matthew 13:4–8
Matthew 13:4–8

10. What was the first type of ground mentioned, on which seed fell?

Matthew 13:4
Matthew 13:4

Note: The wayside represents the heart of an inattentive hearer. Like the hard-beaten path, there is no chance for the seed to take root.

11. What is it that hardens our hearts?

Hebrews 3:13
Hebrews 3:13

Note: The world’s traffic, its pleasures and sin, paralyzes the spiritual faculties of the soul, rendering them insensitive to the preaching of the gospel. Though men may hear the Word, they do not feel any need, and they fail to recognize that the words spoken apply to them. The Word finds no place to take root and Satan catches it away.

12. What happened to the plants that grew on the stony soil?

Matthew 13:6
Matthew 13:6

Note: Because there was little depth of soil, it was quickly warmed by the sun’s rays, and the seeds quickly sprouted and grew. As the growing plant developed, however, this same soil lacked the depth to give it moisture and nutrition, and, just as quickly as it had sprung up, the plant withered away. Many who make a profession of religion are stony-ground hearers. Their hearts are moved by the presentation of the gospel, and they desire the reward of the righteous. They make their decision, however, without regard to the cost involved and, when difficulties arise, they quickly become discouraged. The love of self is not subdued, and they fail to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Easily convinced, they appear to be bright converts, but their religion is only superficial. They rejoice for a season, for they believe that religion will free them from difficulty and trial. While life moves smoothly with them they may appear to be consistent Christians, but they cannot bear reproach for Christ’s sake. When the Word of God points out some cherished sin or requires self-denial or sacrifice, they are offended, and, losing sight of eternal realities, they go back to the world.

13. What do the thorns that choked out the good seed represent?

Luke 8:14
Luke 8:14

Note: Here are included things which may not in themselves be wrong, but which are made first instead of the kingdom of God. Whatever attracts the mind from God is an enemy of the soul.

Christians can and must engage in business and they can do so without committing sin. When, however, their whole energy is absorbed in business enterprises, and they feel obliged to neglect spiritual interests in the pursuit of worldly enterprises, they separate themselves from God.

14. What is the key to true success in this life?

Matthew 6:33
Matthew 6:33

15. What class of people in particular, did Christ come to seek?

Mark 2:17
Mark 2:17

Note: The good soil does not represent hearts that are free from sin, but honest hearts that yield to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

16. As we receive the Word of God, what is it able to do in us?

1 Thessalonians 2:13
1 Thessalonians 2:13

17. What distinguishes the true Christian and the mere professor?

Matthew 7:16–18
Matthew 7:16–18

Note: In religion, profession means nothing without works that correspond. Those who have heard the Word of God and received it into the soul will give evidence of that fact by good works.

18. What will eventually become of those who fail of bringing forth good fruit?

Matthew 7:19
Matthew 7:19

Note: To profess a relationship with Christ, while the life does not reflect obedience to God’s revealed will, will bring the reward of disobedience. See Matthew 7:21–23.

19. What is God’s Word in our hearts able to accomplish in our lives?

2 Peter 1:4
2 Peter 1:4

Note: This lust is not to be understood as referring simply to licentiousness, but to all unlawful desires, to ambition, grasping for power, desire for the praise of men. It comprehends all the desires of the selfish heart.

The truth separates man from his sins, from his hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrongdoing. Lifting him above the weakness of his natural tendencies, “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

As we receive God’s Word and yield ourselves fully to its control, His purpose will be accomplished in us. As the heart is converted to the truth, the work of transformation goes on. Continual devotion and piety establish so close a relation between Jesus and His disciple that the Christian becomes like Him in mind and character.

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