Mathew 13 Lesson

Handling Rejection While Sharing The Gospel


In Mathew Chapter 13, Jesus continues to prepare His disciples for the important work that lies ahead. It is an interesting discussion, and a great chance to better understand our Lord and Savior.

Jesus has given all of us a call to action known as the “Great Commission”:

  • “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Mathew 28:19-20.

Jesus also told His disciples that they are going to face adversity and rejection along the way.

As Christians, we need to accept our role and plant seeds by telling people about Jesus and what He means to us. We also need to be able to accept the inevitable rejection that will come our way. Our work is too important to get discouraged and give up simply because somebody rejects the Gospel.

Our role is to plant seeds. Others will water them. But it is God that will provide the increase, not us. Notice how Jesus repeatedly prepares His followers for rejection. He does not do this to discourage them, He does this to make sure they have their eyes wide open and are fully prepared for the important work ahead of them.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his first letter to the Corinthians:

  • “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.” – 1 Corinthians 3:6.


As Jesus talks about all the possible outcomes that will work to share the Gospel, the first thing that He wants to make sure we understand is that many of our efforts will not be successful. For those of us with tender hearts that want to help others find the peace that we have in Jesus, this can be very discouraging. Therefore, it is imperative to our long-term evangelical efforts that we learn to be able to accept rejection and move on with the task at hand.

Nobody understands rejection better than Jesus. He preached about peace and love, and yet He was beaten, spat upon, cursed at, and nailed to a cross. His closest friends abandoned Him in His darkest hour, and yet He was not bitter or vindictive. As others were about to crucify Him, Jesus made the following plea:

  • “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:34.

Yes, there are many things that we can learn from Jesus. How to glorify God and serve others, even when they reject us is one of them.


In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus talks about four outcomes relative to sowing seeds:

  • OPTION 1:“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.” Jesus refers to this as, “The one on whom seed was sown beside the road.” – Mathew 13:19,
  • OPTION 2: “The man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.” Jesus refers to this as, “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places.” – Mathew 13:20,
  • OPTION 3: “The man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Jesus refers to this as, “The one on whom seed was sown among the thorns.” – Mathew 13:22,
  • OPTION 4: “The man who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Jesus refers to this as, “The one on whom seed was sown on the good soil.” – Mathew 13:23.

Option #4 is the successful outcome that we all strive for. But we cannot succeed without being willing to also fail.


There are three points to consider when we are out in the mission fields planting seeds:

  1. We are not in it alone. What we plant, others will water. It is God that will provide the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6)
  2. Jesus is always with us. Jesus made this promise in Mathew 28:20when He said, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
  3. It is not the size of the seed that will determine its future growth. Sometimes, it is the smallest gestures that have the greatest impact! We should never underestimate what God can do with a simple gesture such as writing a note or paying somebody a visit. In the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” - Mathew 13:31-32. Small seeds can accomplish remarkable things with God’s help.

And while rejection is inevitable for those sharing the Gospel, Jesus wants to encourage us to keep sowing those seeds!

In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul wrote:

  • “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” – Galatians 6:9.

As we do our part to tell others the good news of Jesus, we need to remember that some of the seeds that we plant will be receptive to the Gospel. And if we try our entire lives but only reach one soul, it will have been worth it.

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture that reminds us of the value God places on one soul:

  • “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15:10.


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1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?