Knowing the Difference

DISCUSSION GUIDE Read Matthew 13:1-23

In this parable, Jesus tells a story about a seed and describes four types of soil. He later explains the meaning of the parable that the seed represents the message of gospel and the four soils represent the human heart. In each case, the same seed falls but depending on the soil results in a different outcome. People respond differently to hearing the Good News because they are in different states of readiness. Some result in fans and others in true followers.


What is the message of the kingdom, the good news, the gospel?



The Hard Heart

How does having a hard heart make it difficult for someone to hear the good news?


Why is the good news sometimes hard for people to accept and believe?


The Shallow Heart

What are some of the troubles that keep you from becoming a follower of Jesus?


What persecutions do you face as a follower of Christ?


The Divided Heart

What are the worries of this life that keep you from believing and trusting in God?


How do worries, riches, and pleasure distract us from following Jesus?


The Ready Heart

What makes the difference in the good soil?


Jesus is clear that the good soil also produces fruit. What fruit (evidence) is there of God working in your life? 


How has he changed and transformed your character, priorities, and purpose?


Here are three types of fruit and questions to ask yourself:

1) The fruit of repentance. Have I turned from my sinful ways and asked Jesus to forgive me so that I can have a new life and relationship with God?


2) The fruit of the spirit. How has God changed my life and transformed my inner character in a way that others can see a difference?


3) The fruit of disciples. When have I shared the good news with others and encouraged them to put their trust and follow Jesus? 


Pray for one another and ask God to make your heart ready to receive the gospel message and produce fruit in your life.