by Carolyn Grohn
Download a printable PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Pentecost 8A Gospel.
Text: Matthew 13:44-52 for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Series A
- Identify what they would or would not be willing to give up for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
- Celebrate being part of God’s Kingdom through His gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Strongly Agree and Strongly Disagree Signs
This Bible study has been developed for groups of 6-8 people. The individual who has talked the longest on the phone in the past week will function as group leader. As the group leader, this individual will help encourage each member of the group to participate, but will also allow the group members the freedom to pass if they do not wish to share.
- Share with the group your high and low for the week and what is your most prized possession.
- Form an opinion line. (Put a Strongly Agree sign on one side of the room and Strongly Disagree sign on the opposite side of the room.) Participants are to respond to the following statements read by the leader by going to the area of the room that best describes them. After each statement is read and participants are in place, the leader asks a few of the participants to respond as to why they chose that particular place on the opinion line.
- If God called me to be a missionary, I would be willing to give up my home and most of my belongings for a few years.
- It is important for me to let my friends know that I am a Christian.
- I know that God loves me unconditionally.
- If I were to die today, I would know for a fact that my five closest friends would someday be with me in heaven.
Looking at God’s Word
- What needs sorting out in your room right now? What would you find more of, trash or treasures?
- To what extent would you go to keep your most prized possessions? Read Matthew 13:44-46. What do these parables say to you about the value of the kingdom? With what emotion, energy and resources should it be pursued? Have you ever given up something for the kingdom? What do you feel God wants you to give up right now for His kingdom? Why? What does it mean to “sell everything” for the kingdom? What one word describes how you feel about being part of God’s kingdom?
- Read Matthew 13:47-52. What does the parable of the net tell you about the kingdom of heaven? What comparisons can you find with the parable of the weeds (verses 24-30 and 36-43)?
- Read Matthew 22:1-14 (parable of the wedding banquet). Why do you think the original guests did not come to the wedding banquet? What does it mean to you that God issues undeserved invitations to undeserving people? What is the problem with the one guest without “wedding clothes”? What is this guest banished? (Reread Matthew 13:47.) How are we invited to the banquet? (See Galatians 3:26-27.)
Reinforcing What Has Been Learned
On a piece of paper, complete the following sentences:
- The thing I am most willing to give up for the sake of the kingdom is…
- One way that I can thank God for making me part of His kingdom is by…
- The most challenging part of this parable for me is…
- One thing I learned about God’s character today is…
- One thing I plan to apply to my life as a result of studying this parable is…
- The word for me that best describes the kingdom of heaven is…
When everyone has had time to complete the sentences, each group member will roll a die and share with the group their response to the number of the sentence that matches the roll of the die.
Close this session by singing “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God.”