Lesson 5: "Grow with God"
God plants the seed. We have to be sure it grows.
The “Parable of the Sower”, as written in Mark 4:3-8, describes the word of God given to his people. The “Parable of the Tenants”, as written in Matthew 25:14-30, describes our responsibility to grow His word. Just as seed sown from a farmer may fall on a path, rocky places, thorns, or good soil, so must we insure a fertile ground for His word to grow. Moreover, this word must be nurtured to insure maximal growth. This is only possible by eliminating Satan, establishing strong roots, not letting desires for worldly things come in to choke the word of God, being active in prayer, and going to church. If we insure good soil and nurture the word, the bible says the seed will produce a crop thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown. In this demonstration, we sow our “seeds” in fertile soil, add nurturing agents, and watch the expansion of the word grow 100 times instantly.
What is a parable?
What is a seed?
How is the word of God like a seed?
How do we make the seed grow?
“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” Mark 4:20
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” Matthew 25:21
Small amount of soil
Instant Snow – available at http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/product/1443
Water (3 cups)
Glass cylindrical container like a vase – 1 quart (4 cups) works well
Cookie sheet with walls (to contain snow)
2 clear plastic bags (sandwich bags)
Determine the volume of the glass container using water and the measuring cup. Use the following calculation to determine the amount of dry snow powder and water needed to produce about 50% more snow than needed to fill the container, which produces a very dramatic lesson: measure out 20 cc (4 teaspoons) of instant snow powder to every cup needed to completely fill the container (e.g. 80 cc - 16 teaspoons - plus 4 cups of water for a 1 quart container). Put the pre-measured snow (e.g. 16 teaspoons) in the clear plastic bag and set it on the display table to the side. Put the pre-measured water (e.g. 4 cups) in the clear glass pitcher and put it on the display table to the side (Note: This volume of water will completely fill the container. Using a bit less is fine if you want to avoid water spills). Put the cookie sheet in the center of the table. Put the glass container (be sure it is fully dry) directly on top of the cookie sheet (this will catch the excess ‘snow’). Put a small amount if soil (just enough so it looks like soil) in the second plastic bag and set it near the bag of instant snow powder.
Instant Snow (Insta Snow PowderTM) contains the same ingredient used in disposable diapers, just ground a bit finer to produce fluff over a gel. It is non-toxic.
1. “Hey kids. Today we are going to talk about two parables from the bible, why it is important to understand them, and what can happen if you follow them.”
2. “We will also have a really cool experiment at the end.”
3. “But first, we need to understand the parables.”
What is a parable?
4. “So, what is a parable?” Wait for a response.
5. “Yes, it’s an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.”
6. “It can help us understand a difficult concept using a simple story.”
Parable 1: Parable of the sower
7. “Let’s read one of Jesus’ parables from the Bible.”
8. “Let’s turn to Mark 4, verses 3 to 8.” Ask a volunteer if you wish.
9. “A farmer went out to sow his seed.”
10. “As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.”
11. “Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil.”
12. “It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.”
13. “But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.”
14. “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.”
15. “Still other seed fell on good soil.”
16. “It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
Parable 1: Summary
17. “So, do you understand what Jesus was talking about?”
18. “Well, he actually told us the meaning of this parable.”
19. “Now let’s read from Mark 4, verses 14 to 20.” Ask a volunteer if you wish.
20. “The farmer sows the word.”
21. “Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown.”
22. “As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.”
23. “Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.”
24. “But since they have no root, they last only a short time.”
25. “When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”
26. “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
27. “Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown." Mark 4:14-20
Parable 1: Meaning
28. “So, can anyone tell me what that means?” Wait for a response.
29. “Well, first, what does Jesus mean when he says ‘seed’?” Wait for a response.
30. “Yes, the ‘seed’ is word of the kingdom of heaven.”
31. “So, what is a seed?” Wait for a response.
32. “Well, it’s a source of development or growth, right?”
33. “So, God gave all of us this seed to grow, this word of the kingdom of heaven, and we better make sure we grow his word in good soil.”
34. “How can we do that?” Wait for a response.
35. “How about by eliminating Satan from our lives, establishing strong roots, and not letting desires for worldly things come in to choke the word of God.”
36. “That would be a great start, but another parable tells us there is more to it.”
Parable 2: Parable of the talents
37. “Let’s read Matthew chapter 25 versus 14 to 30”
38. “. . . A man going on a journey . . . called his servants and entrusted his property to them.”
39. “To one he gave five talents (more than $5000) of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.”
40. “Then he went on his journey.”
41. “The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.”
42. “So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.”
43. “But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.”
44. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.”
45. “The man who had received the five talents brought the other five.”
46. “‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents.’”
47. “‘See, I have gained five more.'”
48. “His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!”
49. “‘You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.’”
50. “‘Come and share your master's happiness!’”
51. “The man with the two talents also came.”
52. “‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’”
53. “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’”
54. “‘You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.’”
55. “‘Come and share your master's happiness!’”
56. “Then the man who had received the one talent came.”
57. “‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed’”
58. “‘So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.’”
59. “‘See, here is what belongs to you.’”
60. “‘His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!’”
61. “‘So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?’”
62. “‘Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.’”
63. “‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’”
64. “‘For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.’”
65. “‘Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.’”
66. “‘And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
Parable 2: Meaning
67. “So, what does this parable mean?” Wait for a response.
68. “Well, I think that it means we need to nurture the seed God has given us.”
69. “You see, God wants you to grow.”
70. “Let’s think about a flower seed.”
71. “Will it grow if you only put it in good soil?”
72. “What else is needed?” Wait for a response.
73. “Well, how about sunlight and water.”
74. “So, it is not enough that we provide good soil for His word, we also need to help it grow by nurturing and caring for it.”
Nurture God’s word
75. “So, how can we nurture God’s word?” Wait for a response.
76. “How about being active in prayer, going to church, and reading your bible.”
77. “So, if we insure good soil and nurture the word, the bible says the seed will ‘produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.’"
Instant Snow experiment: Dry set-up
78. “Well, maybe this is hard to imagine, so let’s demonstrate.”
79. “I have here a glass container which I will use to grow my seed.” Show the empty glass container to the audience.
80. “I will add some ‘good soil’ to the bottom, for God says only good soil will produce a crop.” Open the plastic bag of soil and add a small amount inside the container.
81. “Now, let’s add the seed.” Open the plastic bag of instant snow powder and pour the entire amount into the container (do not mix).
82. “Ok, I have added seed to ‘good soil’ but nothing is happening.”
83. “What else do we need?” Wait for a response.
84. “Well, we have lots of light in here already, but we are missing . . . . . water!”
85. “We need to nurture of seed.”
86. “Can I get a volunteer to help me nurture our seed?” Ask for a volunteer.
Instant Snow experiment: Nurture
87. “Ok, when I say ‘go’, I want you to pour this water over the seed.” Hand the pitcher of water to the volunteer. Inform them to pour almost the entire amount of water into the container in one fluid motion.
88. “Alright, is everyone ready to see what happens to the seed when it falls on good soil and is nurtured?”
89. “Ok, go!” Have volunteer pour water inside container on top of soil and instant snow.
90. “Wow, I guess the bible was right when it said that the seed will produce a crop thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” Feel free to let the kids handle the ‘instant snow’ as it is non-toxic.
91. “Ok, so what just happened?” Wait for a response.
92. “Yes, we just saw a demonstration of adding seed, soil, and water and having it grow 30 times bigger instantly.”
93. “But just like the parables in the bible, this experiment also shows us how we can grow with God.”
94. “See, the seed is given to all of us.”
95. “It is the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven.”
96. “We all know heaven exists, right?”
97. “Well, some of us hear others talk about it, but just ignore it.”
98. “Others hear and try to believe, but fail to go to God when times get tough and therefore do not grow with God.”
99. “Others really do believe, but get caught up in the desires for worldly things, like money, and the word of God gets choked.”
100. “Others hear the word and accept it, being firmly planted in good soil.”
101. “But that is not all, is it?”
102. “Remember, we need to nurture the seed as well.”
103. “How do we do this?” Wait for a response.
104. “We stay active in prayer, go to church, and read our bible.”
105. “And then what happens?” Wait for a response.
106. “Yes, we get a huge crop!!!”
107. “Wow, these parables make a lot of sense now.”
108. “They just require some careful thought to understand.”
Why did Jesus teach in parables?
109. “So, just out of curiosity, why do you think God chose to talk in parables?”
110. “Well, I am sure there are many reasons, but the one that makes the most sense to me is that they are easy to remember.”
111. “In fact, while Matthew, Mark, and John all wrote these parables down into their Gospels, they did it years after Jesus’ death on the cross.”
112. “These parables lived for years only by being told from person to person, rather than being written down.”
113. “Now that is a pretty effective tool!”
114. “Well, I better get back to the lab.”
115. “I have lots to do to prepare for my next experiment.”
116. “You see, I think I discovered water proof sand and flame proof fabric.”
117. “I just need to work the kinks out.”
118. “I will see you again soon.”
1. A demonstration of instant snow powder (Insta Snow PowderTM) can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEDsRMKtDPY
2. You can purchase Insta SnowTM from Steve Spangler Science at http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/product/1443
Please send comments, suggestions, and questions to Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mad About Jesus Laboratories