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Mark 4:1-34 (English Standard Version)

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The Parable of the Sower

1 Again 1he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, 2so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And 3he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 "Listen! 4A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And 5when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, 6it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among 7thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and 8a hundredfold." 9 And he said, 9"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

The Purpose of the Parables

10 And 10when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, 11"To you has been given 12the secret of the kingdom of God, but for 13those outside everything is in parables, 12 14so that "they 15may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they 16should turn and be forgiven." 13 17And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 18The sower sows 19the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it 20with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but 21endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately 22they fall away.a 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but 23the cares of 24the world and 25the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and 26bear fruit, 27thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."

A Lamp Under a Basket

21 28And he said to them, 29"Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 30For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 31If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." 24 And he said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear: 32with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 33For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

The Parable of the Seed Growing

26 And he said, 34"The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; 35he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once 36he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 37And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like 38a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." 33 39With many such parables he spoke 40the word to them, 41as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them 42without a parable, but 43privately to his own disciples he 44explained everything.
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