1. What have you done when you read in the Bible or heard in a sermon something that you initially wanted to reject or ignore? Did you come to a place where you accepted the teaching or is it something that continues to bother you?
2. What are some ways that we can open our hearts to receive the truths that God wants to speak into our lives?
3. In one of Jesus’ most famous parables, He used agricultural language and imagery to teach powerful spiritual truths (Mark 4:1-20; The Story, pp. 335- 336). What are the four different types of soil in this parable and what do they represent? Do those same types of soil exist in people today?
4. Jesus told three parables about lost things that were found (Luke 15; The Story, pp. 337-339). What do these parables teach us about the love of God for all of His people?
5. Jesus taught with stories but also in more traditional messages, such as the Sermon on the Mount where He called His followers to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16; The Story, p. 341). How can we be salt and light in our daily lives?
6. Jesus taught His followers how to pray by giving them the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-15; The Story, p. 341). Each line of the prayer instructs us on what we should be praying about. What key themes does Jesus call us to include in our prayers and how do these themes lead us to understand what is important to God?
7. Randy noted a third way that Jesus taught: using real-life situations as occasions to communicate spiritual truths. Why are real-life situations a good way to teach, particularly for parents and grandparents? 8. Jesus used experiences like calming the storm or Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33; The Story, pp. 348-349), to teach about faith. What does Jesus want us to learn about faith and trusting in God?
9. Jesus challenged the people with difficult or confusing teachings that led many to turn away from Jesus and stop following Him. Where can we turn or how can we be encouraged when we are dealing with things from God that are difficult to understand or difficult to accept?