I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. – Psalm 78:2,3
Text: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Props: a clear bag with seeds, a cup with seeds, a cup with rocks and pebbles, a cup with a little soil and many weeds, a cup with rich potting soil.
Summary: The parable of the sower. God wants his word to change our lives and help us grow spiritually into children of God.
Handout: a packet of seeds for each child
Jesus liked to tell stories. He told stories to teach us about God and how to live. Some of these stories are called parables. A parable is a story about something you already understand that is used to explain something spiritual. One story Jesus told was the parable of the person who scattered seeds or the sower.
Let me show you some seeds I brought today. (Show or pass around the clear bag with seeds.) What do seeds need to grow? [soil, water, warmth, sunshine, etc.) Let’s look at each of these cups. Tell me if these seeds will grow in them or not. Here is a cup with nothing in it except the seeds. Will seeds grow in air? (No.) Of course not! The birds will eat them as soon as they find them. Will seeds grow in rocks? (No.) No, they will dry up and die with no soil. What about this cup with soil but a lot of weeds? (No.) No, the weeds will take up all the space the seeds need to grow. Will seeds grow in the rich potting soil? (Yes.) Oh yes! With the proper amount of water and sunshine, the seeds should grow quite well here.
Jesus explained the parable to his followers. He said the soil is like a person’s heart and the seeds are like God’s word (a reading from the Bible, a message about God’s kingdom). When some people hear God’s word, they don’t understand it and the Devil snatches it away before they do. That is like the seeds in the cup that the birds will eat. Some people hear God’s word and get all excited but then give up trying to grow when things get tough. That is like the seeds in the cup of rocks. Some people hear God’s word but get busy with their jobs or trying to earn lots of money instead of doing something for God. That is like the cup full of weeds that take up the space the seeds need to grow. Finally, some people hear God’s word and it totally changes their life. They grow stronger spiritually and do many wonderful things for God in this world. That is like the cup with the rich potting soil.
I have a little packet of seeds for you. (Pass out a packet to each child.) With help from your parents, I hope you will plant your seeds in rich potting soil. Remember as you plant them that God wants his word to change your life and help you grow spiritually into a child of God.
©2002 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.