Life Group Study Guide: Loved what you heard on Sunday? Want to go deeper? The life group study guide will help you unpack what you heard on Sunday, while diving deeper into God's word.
- What ‘aha’ moments or new realities did you learn from this week’s sermon?
Matthew 12 provides some much-needed context for the Parable of the Soils found in Matthew 13. While Jesus often faced conflict with the Pharisees, Matthew 12 captures a tipping point in Jesus’ relationships with the Pharisees. Read Matthew 12.
- What were the heart-level sins that led the Pharisees to not only be resistant to Jesus and his teachings, but also hostile?
In Matthew 13, we are told Jesus went out Teaching in Parables the next day. This was a radical change from Jesus’ plain, simple teaching style. How does Matthew 12 give us insight into why Jesus choose to teach in Parables? Read Matthew 13.
- How would you summarize the main point Jesus is trying to make?
- What does the heart represent in this Biblical context? Why does God care about the state of our hearts? Why not focus on our behavior?
- Why is it important to understand that the four types of soil (hearts) are “organically and intrinsically identical?”
- If you could describe the four soils in your own cultural context, how might we see these heart conditions demonstrated today?
- Why is an emotional response to the gospel not a good gauge of how real a person’s commitment is to Christ?
- What purpose do trials and temptations play in this biblical context?
- As a practical matter, how do we know when our appropriate care for our earthy responsibilities has crossed a line into preoccupation with worldly concerns?
- What did Jesus mean when He said, “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him” (verse 12)?
Make It Personal:
- Have you ever experienced a pull toward being one of the kinds of unfruitful soil? If so, which kind? How did that manifest itself in your life?
- To be fruitful soil, we need “a noble and good heart.” This is ultimately a gift from God, but what is our part of the process in acquiring and cultivating such a heart? What, if anything, can we do to have a good, noble heart?
- How do we practically demonstrate that we have ears to hear Jesus’ teaching?
- What is your main takeaway(s) from this study? What do you want to take to heart as you go forward?