49 Jesus describes what the Kingdom of God is like.

Psalm 78:2; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 13:24–53; Mark 4:21–34; Luke 8:16–18

In what ways can the enemy sow weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:24–30)?

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Gardeners will typically pull weeds to keep them from choking out the good plants. Why is that a problem in Jesus’ illustration (Matthew 13:24–30)?

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If we perceive God as the farmer in Jesus’ illustration, in his foreknowledge why would he allow an enemy into his field (Matthew 13:24–30)?

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If God allows evil, why should he not be blamed for people’s failure when they yield to temptation (Matthew 13:24–30)?

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Under what conditions do people want to snuff out the light (Mark 4:21–22)?

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Of what value is a light if it is not allowed to shine (Mark 4:21–22)?

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If we have a difficulty hearing, how can we know what we’ve not heard (Mark 4: 23)?

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What does a shining light have to do with giving (Mark 4:21–24)?

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Why should those who give more expect to receive more (Mark 4:24–25)?

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What does listening have to do with giving (Mark 4:24–25)?

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Why would not listening lead to hearing problems (Mark 4:24 – 25)?

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In what ways can we sow seeds (Mark 4:26–29)?

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How well can we control the results that come from sowing seeds (Mark 4:26–29)?

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Does sowing seeds always produce a harvest (Mark 4:26–29)? Why?

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How important is the size of the seed planted (Mark 4:30–32)?

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What does a mustard seed and a little yeast have in common (Matthew 13:31–33)? Why is that important?

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Why would the disciples think they needed Jesus to explain the stories he had told (Matthew 13:36)?

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What is the difference between the good seeds and the weeds (Matthew 13:37–43)?

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Do people have a choice, whether they will be good seeds or weeds (Matthew 13:37–43)? Why?

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Since Scripture doesn’t give Jesus’ explanation for his story about the treasure hidden in a field, we are left to wonder what his disciples learned (Matthew 13:44). What do you think the point was?

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What do we know about the pearl merchant’s goals and economic status at the beginning of Jesus’ story (Matthew 13:45)? At the end of the story, what had changed?

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How does the story of the good seed and weeds compare to what Jesus said about the great catch of fish (Matthew 13:37–43, 47–51)? Why did the disciples say they understood the fish story?

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How does a teacher’s insight change after becoming a disciple in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 13:52)?

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Jesus gave this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who sowed good wheat in his field. While everyone slept, his adversary sowed weeds among the wheat and slipped away, unseen. As the wheat grew and developed its heads of grain, the weeds also grew.

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:24–26 Jesus gave this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who sowed good wheat in his field. While everyone slept, his adversary sowed weeds among the wheat and slipped away, unseen. As the wheat grew and developed its heads of grain, the weeds also grew.
King James

Matthew 13:24–26 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

“The workers said to the farmer, ‘Didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?’

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:27 “The workers said to the farmer, ‘Didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?’
King James

Matthew 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

“‘An enemy has done this.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:28 ” ‘An enemy has done this.’ ‘Do you want us to pull the weeds?’ they said.
King James

Matthew 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

“‘Do you want us to pull the weeds?’ they said.

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:28 ” ‘An enemy has done this.’ ‘Do you want us to pull the weeds?’ they said.
King James

Matthew 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

“‘No. While you are pulling the weeds you might uproot some of the wheat. Let them both grow until harvest time. Then I will tell the reapers to bundle the weeds, burn them, and bring the wheat into my barn.’”

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:29–30 ” ‘No. While you are pulling the weeds you might uproot some of the wheat. Let them both grow until harvest time. Then I will tell the reapers to bundle the weeds, burn them, and bring the wheat into my barn.'”
King James

Matthew 13:29–30 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Jesus said, “Is a lighted candle ever put under a basket or couch? No. It is always placed where its light will shine. Everything hidden will one day be revealed, and all secrets will be brought to light. If you have ears, pay attention to what I am saying.

Eyewitness

Mark 4:21–23 Jesus said, “Is a lighted candle ever put under a basket or couch? No, it is always placed where its light will shine. Everything hidden will one day be revealed, and all secrets will be brought to light. He who has ears, let him hear.
Luke 8:16–17 “Is a lighted candle ever put under a basket or couch? No, it is always placed where its light will shine. Everything hidden will one day be revealed, and all secrets will be brought to light.
King James

Mark 4:21–23 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
Luke 8:16–17 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

“Believe me, the measure you give will be the measure you get. Even more knowledge will be given to those who listen carefully. But those who are not listening will lose what little understanding they have.

Eyewitness

Mark 4:24–25 “Believe me, the measure you give will be the measure you get. Even more knowledge will be given to those who listen carefully. But those who are not listening will lose what little understanding they have.
Luke 8:18 “Believe me, because more knowledge will be given to those who listen carefully. But those who are not listening will lose what little understanding they have.”
King James

Mark 4:24–25 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

“The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who sows seeds in his field. All the time, whether he sleeps at night or works in the day, the seeds sprout and grow, but he does not understand how that happens. Without the farmer’s help, the earth produces the stalk and leaves. Then the full head of grain forms and ripens. When the grain is ready, he wields his sickle because harvest time has come.”

Eyewitness

Mark 4:26–29 “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who sows seeds in his field. All the time, whether he sleeps at night or works in the day, the seeds sprout and grow, but he does not understand how that happens. Without the farmer’s help, the earth produces the stalk and leaves. Then the full head of grain forms and ripens. When the grain is ready, he wields his sickle because harvest time has come.”
King James

Mark 4:26–29 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

Jesus also said, “To what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what story can we use for illustration? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a farmer planted in his field. Although it is the tiniest of all seeds, it became the largest plant in the field, so large that birds can perch in its branches and enjoy its shade.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:31–32 In another illustration, Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a farmer planted in his field. Although it is the tiniest of all seeds, it became the largest plant in the field, a tree where birds can perch in its branches.”
Mark 4:30–32 Jesus also said, “To what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what story can we use for illustration? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a farmer planted in his field. Although it is the tiniest of all seeds, it became the largest plant in the field, so large that birds can perch in its branches and enjoy its shade.”
King James

Matthew 13:31–32 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Mark 4:30–32 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

Jesus added this analogy: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a little yeast that a woman kneaded into three measures of flour. The yeast made the whole batch of dough rise.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:33 Jesus added this analogy: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a little yeast that a woman kneaded into three measures of flour. The yeast made the whole batch of dough rise.”
King James

Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

When speaking to the crowd, Jesus always used illustrations like these to teach the people as much as they could understand. No one heard him speak without some kind of story. In private, he explained everything to his followers. This fulfilled what the psalmist prophesied: <>I will open my mouth with a parable and explain mysteries kept secret from the beginning.

Eyewitness

Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth with a parable and explain mysteries kept secret from the beginning.
Matthew 13:34–35 When speaking to the crowd, Jesus always used illustrations like these. No one heard him speak without some kind of story. This fulfilled what the psalmist prophesied: I will open my mouth with a parable and explain mysteries kept secret from the beginning.
Mark 4:33–34 With many such illustrations, Jesus taught the people as much as they could understand. No one heard him speak without some kind of story. In private, he explained everything to his followers.
King James

Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
Matthew 13:34–35 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Mark 4:33–34 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

After sending the crowd away, Jesus went into the house. There his disciples said, “Explain what you meant about the weeds sown in the field.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:36 After sending the crowd away, Jesus went into the house. There his disciples said, “Explain what you meant about the weeds sown in the field.”
King James

Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

Jesus said, “The farmer who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seeds are the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who sowed the weeds is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age. And the reapers are the angels. Just as the weeds are bundled and burned, so will it be with people at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send his angels to separate from his Kingdom those who do evil and draw others into sin. The angels will throw the evildoers into a fiery furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, pay attention to what I am saying.

Eyewitness

Daniel 12:3 The wise will shine as bright as the midday sun, and those who lead others to righteousness will twinkle like the stars forever.
Matthew 13:37–43 Jesus said, “The farmer who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seeds are the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. The enemy who sowed the weeds is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age. And the reapers are the angels. Just as the weeds are bundled and burned, so will it be with people at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send his angels to separate from his Kingdom those who do evil and draw others into sin. The angels will throw the evildoers into a fiery furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, pay attention to what I am saying.
King James

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Matthew 13:37–43 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like hidden treasure buried in a field. When a man found the treasure, he was overcome with joy. He buried the treasure, sold everything he owned, and bought the field.

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like hidden treasure buried in a field. When a man found the treasure, he was overcome with joy. He buried the treasure, sold everything he owned, and bought the field.
King James

Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking costly pearls. When he found one pearl of exceptional value, he sold everything he owned and bought it.

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:45–46 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking costly pearls. When he found one pearl of exceptional value, he sold everything he owned and bought it.
King James

Matthew 13:45–46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

“Also, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea and caught all kinds of fish. Men dragged the full net onto the shore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers. They threw the bad fish away. That is how it will be at the end of this age. The angels will come and separate evil people from the righteous and will throw the evil ones into a fiery furnace, where they will cry and grit their teeth in pain. Have you understood what I have said?”

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:47–51 “Also, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea and caught all kinds of fish. Men dragged the full net onto the shore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers. They threw the bad fish away. That is how it will be at the end of this age. The angels will come and separate the evil people from the righteous and will throw the evil ones into a fiery furnace, where they will cry and grit their teeth in pain. Have you understood what I have said?” “Yes,” they said. “We understand.”
King James

Matthew 13:47–51 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

“Yes,” they said. “We understand.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:51 “Have you understood what I have said?” “Yes,” they said. “We understand.”
King James

Matthew 13:51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

“Every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings both old and new things from his storehouse of treasures.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:52 “Every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a homeowner who brings both old and new things from his storehouse of treasures.”
King James

Matthew 13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

After teaching the people, Jesus left.

Eyewitness

Matthew 13:53 After teaching the people, Jesus left.
King James

Matthew 13:53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.