The Parable of the Sower 4 1Again He began to teach by the sea, and a very large crowd gathered around Him. So He got into a boat on the sea and sat down, while the whole crowd was on the shore facing the sea. 2He taught them many things in parables, and in His teaching He said to them: 3“Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow. 4As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn’t have deep soil. 6When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn’t have a root, it withered. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop. 8Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” 9Then He said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”   Why Jesus Used Parables   10When He was alone with the Twelve, those who were around Him asked Him about the parables. 11He answered them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those outside, everything comes in parables 12so that   they may look and look, yet not perceive; they may listen and listen, yet not understand; otherwise, they might turn back— and be forgiven.[P][Q]   The Parable of the Sower Explained   13Then He said to them: “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any of the parables? 14The sower sows the word. 15These[R] are the ones along the path where the word is sown: when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word sown in them.[S] 16And these are[T] the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy. 17But they have no root in themselves; they are short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately stumble. 18Others are sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word, 19but the worries of this age, the seduction[U] of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20But the ones sown on good ground are those who hear the word, welcome it, and produce a crop: 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.”   Using Your Light   21He also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? 22For nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!” 24Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use,[V] it will be measured and added to you. 25For to the one who has, it will be given, and from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”   The Parable of the Growing Seed   26“The kingdom of God is like this,” He said. “A man scatters seed on the ground; 27he sleeps and rises—night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he doesn’t know how. 28The soil produces a crop by itself—first the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head. 29But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come.”   The Parable of the Mustard Seed   30And He said: “How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? 31It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground. 32And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the vegetables, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.”   Using Parables   33He would speak the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. 34And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples.   Wind and Wave Obey the Master   35On that day, when evening had come, He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” 36So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. 37A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?” 39He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40Then He said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” 41And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
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