This week’s readings: Matthew 13; Luke 8 and 13
Don’t forget to record your impressions and read the ideas outlined in the new Come, Follow Me manuals on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
This week’s scriptural insight comes from Verse by Verse: Volume 1 by Andrew C. Skinner and D. Kelly Ogden.
The word tares occurs in the New Testament only in this one parable. The Greek word zizanion, translated as “tares,” is said to come from a Semitic root and refers to weeds in grain. Most assume it is the somewhat poisonous bearded darnel, or weed grass. It resembles wheat in its early stages of growth, and the roots of the two are often intertwined (Matthew 13:29). The tares did not grow naturally; they were deliberately planted. The tares represent apostates, flourishing together with the righteous (the wheat) in the Lord’s kingdom. At the Judgment, however, they will be separated, as with the wheat and the chaff (Doctrine and Covenants 86:7).
These ideas and topics are compiled from Come, Follow Me and have been adapted for specific situations. Check out the manuals online for more ideas, or come up with your own as you study!
One of the reasons Christ taught in parables was to communicate with His followers in a way that they could relate and understand. For your couple study this week, you might consider focusing on this idea and talk together about why Christ might have used each parable and what those listening to Him might have better understood because He used them. You could even take it one step further and talk about how you might include some of these communication principles in your own marriage.
No matter your age, gender, marital status, etc., we all live in a world that can sometimes confuse good and evil. As you study the parable of the wheat and the tares this week, you might consider writing down a list of worldly beliefs, thoughts, or practices that may have crept into your life. You could pick one to focus on this week and think of ways that you can “nourish that which is good” and help stifle some of these “spiritual tares” in your life as President Oaks discusses in his talk “The Parable of the Sower.”
For families with young children:
For an interactive, more long-term study this week, consider focusing on the parable of the sower. After reading the parable, you can use disposable bathroom cups to gather or create the different types of soil. Each family member can plant a seed in a different cup, and as you do so, you can discuss how our hearts can be like each soil. Place the cups in a place where family members can see them grow for several weeks, and then you might have a follow-up study to talk about why some of the seeds grew and some didn’t to reemphasize the meaning of the parable later.
For families with teens:
As your family studies various parables in this week’s reading, you might consider working together to make a chart with the names of the parable, a brief description of it, and how it can apply to your family or individual family members. You might even have an activity where each family member shares their own gospel parable using familiar objects or situations that the family can remember.
Stay in the loop on Come, Follow Me discussions and insights throughout the week by following the Brightly Beams Instagram account, or check out this week's related Come, Follow Me FHE lesson: Small and Simple Things.