Sermon Bible Study Guides
The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked
Read Psalm 1
- What two ways of living are contrasted? (think about how they are described as well as what they do)
- What are the verbs are used to describe these two ways of living and what is the significance?
- What do the similes (things he compares them to) illustrate about the blessed man and the wicked?
- Discuss each part carefully, then consider the big picture.
- What is the outcome of the two ways of living and why?
- Summarize the teaching about the blessed man’s life.
- Summarize the teaching about the wicked man’s life.
- What do you delight in and meditate on? (what captures a lot of your thought life?)
- What guides and leads your life? (how do you make decisions?)
- How does someone grow in delighting in God’s word? How can we help each other to do so? What does it mean to meditate on God’s word? Do you do that?
- How does Christ fulfill Psalm 1?
God’s Ways are Not Like Ours
Read Mark 4:1-20
- How does Jesus begin teaching in this passage? What reason does he give for using this method?
- Who does Jesus explain the parable to? Why does he explain it to them, and not others?
- What is the meaning of the parable, according to Jesus?
- Who do the different soils represent?
- How should we respond to the fact that different people will receive the Word differently? Should that affect or change the way that we teach Scripture? Why or why not?
- Should we teach in parables?
- What do the disciples need in order to understand Jesus’ teaching? How should that affect the way we think about our (or others) ability to understand the gospel?
Read Mark 4:21-34
- What does the parable about the lamp (21-25) say about Jesus’ teaching? Does he want to hide the truth, according to this?
- Who is blamed for their lack of understanding?
- What does the parable of the growing seed (v26-29) teach about the kingdom of God? How does the kingdom grow? Who makes the kingdom grow?
- What does the parable of the mustard seed (v30-32) teach about the kingdom of God? What size does the kingdom start at? Is that the size it will end at?
- The last two verses conclude this teaching section. Who is Jesus teaching in parables to? Who does he explain them to?
- What is the relationship between these three short parables and the first one (v1-20)? What do these explain about the first one?
- Are these parables encouraging to you? Why or why not?
- How should these parables shape the way we think about the growth God’s kingdom? Should that affect the way we live, or share the gospel, or pray?
- What does this teach us about how we should approach the Bible, if we want to understand it?
- In light of this passage, how should we respond when it seems as though the kingdom is not growing?