Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.
He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:
"Listen! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away.
Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.
Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."
And he said, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!"
When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables.
And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret a of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables;
in order that "they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.' "
And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy.
But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. b18
And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word,
but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing.
And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."
He said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light.
Let anyone with ears to hear listen!"
And he said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.
For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away."
He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.
The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.
But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come."
He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;
yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it;
he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
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)