Mark 4:1-34 (New American Standard)

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Parable of the Sower and Soils

1 1He began to teach again 2by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that 3He got into a boat in the sea and sat down ; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land. 2 And He was teaching them many things in 4parables, and was saying to them in His teaching, 3 "Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow ; 4 as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 "Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil ; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. 6 "And after the sun had risen, it was scorched ; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 "Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 "Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." 9 And He was saying, "5He who has ears to hear, alet him hear." 10 As soon as He was alone, bHis followers , along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. 11 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but 6those who are outside get everything 7in parables, 12 so that 8WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN."

Explanation

13 9And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable ? How will you understand all the parables ? 14 "The sower sows the word. 15 "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown ; and when they hear, immediately 10Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16 "In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy ; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary ; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they cfall away. 18 "And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns ; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of 11the dworld, and the 12deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 "And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil ; and they hear the word and accept it and 13bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." 21 And He was saying to them, "14A lamp is not brought to be put under a ebasket, is it, or under a bed ? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand ? 22 "15For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. 23 "16If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." 24 And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. f17By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. 25 "18For whoever has, to him more shall be given ; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

Parable of the Seed

26 And He was saying, "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil ; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows -how, he himself does not know. 28 "The soil produces crops by itself ; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29 "But when the crop permits, he immediately g19puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 20And He said, "How shall we h21picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? 31 "It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, 32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches ; so that 22THE BIRDS OF THE iAIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE." 33 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; 34 and He did not speak to them 23without a parable ; but He was 24explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
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