When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable:
"A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.
Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture.
Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold." As he said this, he called out, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!"
Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant.
He said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets a of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak b in parables, so that "looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.'
"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away.
As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.
"No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.
For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light.
Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away."
Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd.
And he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."
But he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)