The Parable of the Sower
1Again4:1–12 Mt 13:1–15; Lk 8:4–10 he began to teach4:1 Mt 28:20; Ac 4:2; 2Tm 4:11 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 by the sea on the shore.
2He taught them many things in parables,4:2 Mk 12:1 and in his teaching4:2 Mk 11:18; Ac 2:42; 17:19 he said to them,
3“Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow.4:3 Gl 6:7
4As he sowed, some seed fell along the path,4:4 Mk 8:27 and the birds came and devoured4:4 Gl 5:15 it.
5Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it grew up quickly,4:5 Mk 10:52 since the soil wasn’t deep.
6When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.4:6 Mk 3:1
7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce fruit.
8Still other seed fell on good ground and it grew up, producing fruit that increased4:8 1Pt 2:2 thirty, sixty, and a hundred times.”4:8 Jn 15:5; Col 1:6
9Then he said, “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen.”4:9 Is 6:9; Jr 5:21; Ezk 12:2; Mk 8:18; Lk 14:35
Why Jesus Used Parables
10When he was alone, those around him with the Twelve4:10 Mk 11:11 asked him about the parables.4:10 Mk 12:1
11He answered them, “The secret4:11 1Co 2:7 of the kingdom of God4:11 Mk 1:15 has been given to you, but to those outside,4:11 Rm 9:27 everything comes in parables
12so that
they may indeed look,
and yet not perceive;
they may indeed listen,
and yet not understand; 4:12 Mk 7:18
otherwise, they might turn back
and be forgiven.” 4:12 Other mss read and their sins be forgiven them 4:12 Is 6:9–10 4:12 Is 6:9–10
The Parable of the Sower Explained
13Then4:13–20 Mt 13:18–23; Lk 8:9–15 he said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable?4:13 Mk 12:1 How then will you understand all of the parables?
14The sower sows4:14 Gl 6:7 the word.4:14 Mk 16:20
15Some are like the word sown on the path.4:15 Mk 8:27 When they hear, immediately Satan4:15 Mt 4:10 comes and takes away the word4:15 Lk 6:47 sown in them.4:15 Other mss read in their hearts
16And others are like seed sown on rocky ground. When they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy.4:16 Jn 5:43; 15:11
17But they have no root; they are short-lived. When distress4:17 2Co 1:4 or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately fall away.4:17 Jn 16:1
18Others are like seed sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word,
19but the worries4:19 1Pt 5:7 of this age,4:19 Lk 16:8; Eph 1:21 the deceitfulness4:19 Or seduction4:19 Mt 13:22 of wealth,4:19 Mt 13:22; Lk 8:14 and the desires4:19 2Pt 1:4; 2:10 for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.4:19 Rm 1:13; Ti 3:14; Jd 12
20And those like seed sown on good ground hear the word,4:20 Lk 6:47 welcome it, and produce fruit4:20 Col 1:10 thirty, sixty, and a hundred times what was sown.”
Using Your Light
21He4:21–25 Lk 8:16–18 also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed?4:21 Lk 5:18 Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand?4:21 Rv 1:12
22For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed,4:22 2Co 4:11 and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light.
23If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen.”4:23 Mk 4:9
24And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure4:24 2Co 10:13 you use,4:24 Mt 7:2; Lk 6:38 it will be measured to you — and more will be added4:24 Lk 17:5 to you.
25For whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”4:25 Mt 25:29; Lk 19:26
The Parable of the Growing Seed
26 “The kingdom of God 4:26 Mk 1:15 is like this,” he said. “A man scatters seed on the ground.
27He sleeps4:27 Mt 9:24 and rises4:27 Mk 5:41 night4:27 Jn 9:4 and day; the seed sprouts and grows, although he doesn’t know how.
28The soil produces a crop4:28 Col 1:10 by itself — first the blade, then the head, and then the full grain4:28 Lk 16:7 on the head.
29As soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle,4:29 Jl 3:13; Rv 14:14–19 because the harvest4:29 Rv 14:15 has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30And4:30–34 Mt 13:31–35; Lk 13:18–21 he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God,4:30 Mk 1:15 or what parable4:30 Mk 12:1 can we use to describe it?
31It’s like a mustard seed4:31 Mt 17:20; Lk 17:6 that, when sown upon the soil, is the smallest of all the seeds on the ground.
32And when sown,4:32 Gl 6:7 it comes up and grows taller than all the garden plants,4:32 Lk 11:42 and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky4:32 Mt 24:35; Lk 12:33; Ac 17:24; Eph 6:9; Rv 21:10 can nest in its shade.”
Using Parables
33He was speaking the word4:33 Lk 6:47; Jn 18:32 to them with many parables4:33 Mk 12:1 like these, as they were able to understand.4:33 Jn 16:12
34He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, he explained everything to his own disciples.4:34 Mt 9:10; Mk 10:10; Lk 6:1; Jn 6:3; Ac 6:1
Wind and Waves Obey Jesus
35On4:35–41 Mt 8:23–27; Lk 8:22–25 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 in the boat. And other boats were with him.
37A great windstorm4:37 Ps 107:25; Jnh 1:5–6 arose, and the waves4:37 Jd 13 were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.
38He was in the stern, sleeping4:38 Mt 9:24 on the cushion. So they woke him up4:38 Mk 5:41 and said to him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?” 4:38 Jn 6:27
39He got up, rebuked4:39 2Tm 4:2 the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence!4:39 Mt 22:12; Mk 3:4 Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40Then he said to them, “Why are you afraid?4:40 Mt 8:26; Rv 21:8 Do you still have no faith?”
41And they were terrified4:41 Or were filled with awe4:41 Rv 11:11 and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey4:41 Mk 1:27 him!” 4:41 Jnh 1:10,16; Mk 6:50–51