NBC Sunday School Manual For July 16, 2023 :Topic – THE SOWER AND THE SEED.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month:
JESUS ENVISIONS THE KINGDOM.
SUNDAY, 16TH JULY, 2023.
TOPIC: THE SOWER AND THE SEED.
Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:5-15.
Lesson Scripture: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.
“But the seed falling on good soils refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:23.
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Explain the meaning of the parable of the Sower.
● Describe what the good soil represents.
● Discuss some hindrances to the rapid growth of the gospel message.
Mrs Abigail Hassan is gifted in | diverse ways, especially in teaching children. Immediately after her graduation from the seminary, she was called to be a children’s pastor at New Gate Baptist Church, in one of the Conferences in the South West. Children always love to be in her class because of the interesting illustrations she uses and the display of relevant visuals. Because of her skilfulness, she is usually called “lya ewe” meaning, mother of children. Whenever she is going to church, her car is always filled with all kinds of objects (wooden, metal, paper, pieces of broken plates, leaves both dried and fresh, bones, plastic of various shapes and colours), toys, fruits and empty containers, which she uses as teaching aids during lessons. According to her, the use of visuals as teaching aids help children to easily understand the lesson better than merely teaching without any visual. Her coming to the church brought transformation and development to the church, especially in the children’s department.
Parables can be described as metaphors or fables. They are short stories that teach both moral and spiritual lessons. Jesus Christ, the Great Teacher, taught His followers many parables at different times with familiar objects simply to illustrate the nature of the kingdom of God. According to the passage, He spoke in parables when He was teaching the crowd because of their spiritual dullness (Matthew 13:10-15; Luke 8:4), as well as to fulfil Prophet Isaiah’s prophecy that says, ” will use parables when I speak to them; I will tell them things unknown since the creation of the world.” (v. 14) Specifically, chapter 13 of the gospel of Matthew records 7 parables that teach and explain some lessons about the kingdom of God. Among them is the parable of the sower and its interpretation, which is our focus today.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER:
Jesus did not only perform miracles of healing and deliverance but He also taught great truths about the kingdom of God. He sat by the lakeside but because of the great crowd that had gathered around Him, He got into a boat and began to teach them in parables. The parable of the Sower describes a farmer who scattered his seed, which fell on different soils. Interestingly, the seed produced different results, which was determined by the nature of the soil on which it fell. For example:
● Some seed fell on the path. The seed did not grow because birds ate it up probably because they were exposed.
● Some fell on rocky places. Though the seed germinated quickly but there was not much soil for it to continue to grow. They soon withered due to the heat of the sun.
● Some others fell among thorns. According to the passage, the seed germinated but it was choked by thorns.
● Some fell on good soil. Because of the good nature of the soil, it grew well and yielded in hundred, sixty and thirtyfold.
Jesus told this parable to the people in order to teach them the nature of the kingdom of heaven and how it functions. It is obvious from the passage that what really determined the harvest was neither the farmer nor the seed but the nature of the soil. This can be likened to the heart of people and their responses to the gospel message. The soil represents the heart of people and the various ways they respond to the Gospel. Apart from the seed that fell on a good soil and yielded a bountiful harvest, “a hundred, sixty or thirty times of what was sown” (v. 8), others did not meet the expectations of the farmer. Jesus, however, concluded by appealing thus “He who has ears, let him hear.” (v. 9) The lesson from the parable is a reminder that Christians should not relent in fulfilling the great task of the church, which is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), as we pray constantly for God to prepare the hearts of people, young and old, to receive the Word of God. When God prepares the heart of people, they will be willing to hear and surrender their lives to Christ. And so, the kingdom of God will expand.
1. Discuss the things that do not allow the Word of God to grow to maturity in the hearts of people, according to verse 7.
2. How can the heart of people be prepared to receive the message of the Gospel?
B. INTERPRETATION OF THE PARABLE:
A good teacher is someone who would not just communicate but whatever he teaches will be understood by her learners. Such is the example we find in Jesus. Having spoken in a parable to the people, the disciples asked Him why He did that often. In responding, He said, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom has been given to you and not to them.” (v. 11) He furthered explained the parable as follows:
● He likened those who hear the message about the kingdom but do not understand it to the seed that fell along the path. The Devil came and snatched it away from them. This group of people can be described as narrow-minded and indifferent like the unbelieving Pharisees.
● The seed that fell on the rocky soil represents those who receive the message with gladness but it did not sink into them and so, they did not last. When persecution came because of their faith, they lacked perseverance and gave up easily.
● The seed that fell among thorns is likened to those who hear the message but allowed the worries of life and their love for worldly things to choke it. Eventually, they died.
● The seed that fell on the good soil represents those who hear the message and understood it. They grew in the faith, producing abundant fruits in hundred, sixty and thirtyfold.
The parable is a true representation of the different ways people respond to the gospel message. The seed is the Word of God, the Son of Man is the Sower while the field is the heart of people. As Jesus clearly explained, many things contend with the Word of God in the heart of people like the Devil, persecution, worldliness and the worries of life. These make people not to respond to the Word of God appropriately. When people are open to receive the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, their spiritual understanding will be enlightened and they will bear abundant fruits. The challenge is that believers should forsake anything that will choke the Word of God they study from time to time, otherwise they will be likened to the first three types of soil that did not yield any fruit.
1. Discuss some other things that contend with the understanding of God’s Word in the heart of people.
2. Does the kingdom come to us in a flash of understanding or it is a process?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Ask class members to relate the returns that is being made from an investment to fruit bearing in our text.
Take Home: State at least three main lessons you are taking home, based on today’s lesson:
● Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment to identify two things that you will start to do in order to become more fruitful in God’s hands.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!