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July 28, 2017

Sermon Discussion Questions: The Heart of a Disciple

Jason Meyer

Pastor for Preaching & Vision

The following outline and discussion questions have been prepared to accompany the sermon on July 29/30, “The Heart of a Disciple” (Mark 4:1–20). The questions can be used for discussion in small groups or for personal reflection.   


  1. What Did He Say? The Telling of the Parable (vv. 1–9)
  2. Why Did He Say It That Way? The Purpose of the Parable (vv. 10–12)
  3. What Did He Mean? The Interpretation of the Parable (vv. 13–20)

Main Point: True followers of Christ receive his word and bear fruit only because God has changed their hearts. Without this heart change someone cannot be a true follower of Christ. This heart change is the defining difference between the disciples and the crowd. 

Discussion Questions

  • What are the four types of soils in Jesus’ parable of the sower and the soils? (vv. 1–9)
  • Why did Jesus speak in parables? What was the purpose? What source did Jesus quote in order to document this purpose?
  • Trace the connection between the symbols in the original parable (path, birds, rocky ground, sun, scorching, etc.) and their meaning in the interpretation of the parable (path = hard heart/Pharisees; birds = Satan; sun = tribulation or persecution, etc.).

Application Questions

  • How do you respond to the knowledge that God can hand people over to their sinful desires and hard-heartedness?
  • How should Christians respond to the knowledge that God directly intervened in our lives and changed our hearts?
  • How do these doctrines of God’s grace relate to our discipleship?
  • In this message, what truths landed on you that you need to share with others in your life? How can you share these truths? Devote it to prayer!

Prayer Focus

Pray for a grace to cherish God’s grace in a way that does not turn it into an obligation to act equally for everyone. That would cancel the very meaning of grace!