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Matthew 13:1-23 Parables
Bring in some good soil, some sand and a pile of rocks. Also, bring in some seeds (either real grass seed, or some kind of seeds for plants or vegetables, and if you don’t have that, just use something from your spice rack- like dill or basil or rosemary and pretend that it’s a pile of seeds). Ask the kids if they’ve ever grown a garden, or planted a plant or watched their Dad or someone plant grass seed. Tell them to look at and touch the good soil, the sand and the rocks and ask them which one that they think they could use for a garden. Lead them to the conclusion that you need good soil to plant seeds so they can sprout a root and be strong. If you plant seeds in sand or on a rocky place, the seed can’t sprout a root and hold itself in the ground, and you wouldn’t get any flowers, vegetables or grass (whatever seeds you planted). Today we are going to hear about what Jesus said in the Bible about planting seeds.
BOOK: Matthew 13:1-23
Jesus was always teaching the people about God and telling them stories to make it easier for them to understand. A story that teaches something is called a parable. One of the stories Jesus told was about a farmer who went out to plant seed. Some fell along a path and the birds came and ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil so the plant did spring up right away, but then it died right away because the root couldn’t go down into soil to get water. Other seeds fell among thorns, which choked the plant. But the seed that fell on the good soil took root and grew into good, strong healthy plants. Jesus explained to His disciples (followers) that this story is about what different people do when they hear the truth that God loves them and wants to forgive their sin so they can go to heaven with Him one day. Some people hear this good news, but don’t believe it, and they will never get to heaven. Other people hear the good news and believe it, but then they get caught up in their own fun stuff or their own problems, and turn away from God. Another group of people hear about how much God loves them and what they need to do to have forgiveness and be with Him in heaven, and they believe and become a Christian (which means someone who follows Jesus Christ). Jesus said that a lot of people hear His words from the Bible, but not everyone believes it. Jesus is sad about the people who don’t ask Him into their lives, but He is so happy when children like you and adults hear about Him, believe in Him and live for Him.
When we were looking at the different soils and rocks, we agreed that seeds grow best and sprout roots (and then flowers, vegetables or grass) when they grow a strong root that holds the plant in the ground and brings the plant water. When a person hears about God’s love and forgiveness, if their heart believes, then it’s like the good soil. We need to make sure we don’t let other things take our mind off of God so that our hearts become like sand or rock. We want Jesus to come into our life, our heart and our mind and make us the person He wants us to be.
When someone is reading the Bible to you or talking to you about God, you need to make sure your ears are listening and that your heart and mind are learning about God’s truth. If you try hard to be a good listener and do what God says in the Bible, then your heart will be like the good soil and you will grow as God’s child. It’s perfectly alright for children to have fun, run around and play and be silly and laugh and have a good time. But when there is a time that we should be learning and listening to God’s Word, we need to settle down and focus on what we’re hearing.
“I seek you with all my heart.” Psalm 119:10
Dear God, please help us to focus on You and to listen to your Word. Help us to want your forgiveness and help us to grow in you every day like a strong healthy plant. Thank you for our parents and teachers who work hard to teach us about you and explain things to us. Help us to understand and to seek you with all of our heart every day of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!