Mark 4 (Lexham English Bible)

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The Parable of the Sower

1 And again he began to teach beside the sea,a and a very large crowd was gathered to him, so that he got into a boat [and]b sat on the sea, and the whole crowd was at the sea on the land. 2 And he began to teachc them many [things] in parables, and was saying to them in his teaching, 3 "Listen! Behold, the sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened that while [he] was sowing, {some seed}d fell on the side of the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 And other [seed] fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up at once, because it did not have [any] depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose it was scorched, and because it did not have [enough] root, it withered. 7 And other [seed] fell among the thorn plants, and the thorn plants came up and choked it, and it did not produce grain.e 8 And other [seed] fell on the good soil, and produced grain,f coming up and increasing, and it bore [a crop]g--one thirty and one sixty and one a hundred [times as much].h 9 And he said, "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!"

The Reason for the Parables

10 And when he was alone, those around him together with the twelve began askingi him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, "To you has been granted the secret of the kingdom of God, but to those who are outside everything is in parables, 12 so that '{they may look closely} and not perceive, and {they may listen carefully} and not understand, lest they turn and it be forgiven them.'"

The Parable of the Sower Interpreted

13 And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones beside the path where the word is sown, and whenever they hear [it],j immediately Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 And these are likek the ones sown on the rocky ground, who whenever they hear the word immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but are temporary. Then [when]l affliction or persecution comes because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among the thorn plants--these are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other [things] come in [and]m choke the word and it becomes unproductive. 20 And those are the ones sown on the good soil, who hear the word and receive [it]n and bear fruit--one thirty and one sixty and one a hundred [times as much]."o

The Parable of the Lamp

21 And he said to them, "Surely a lamp is not brought so that it may be put under a bushel basket or under a bed, [is it]?p [Is it] notq so that it may be put on a lampstand? 22 For nothing is secret except so that it may be revealed, nor has become hidden except so that it will come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!" 24 And he said to them, "Take care what you hear! With the measure by which you measure out, it will be measured out to you, and will be added to you. 25 For whoever has, [more] will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

The Parable of the Seed that Grows by Itself

26 And he said, "The kingdom of God is like this: like a man scatters seed on the ground. 27 And he sleeps and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows--{he does not know how}.r 28 By itself the soil produces a crop: first the grass, then the head of grain, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the crop permits, he sends [in] the sickle right away, because the harvest has come."

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or by what parable can we present it? 31 [It is] like a mustard seed that when sown on the ground, [although it]s is the smallest of all the seeds that [are] on the ground, 32 but when it is sown it grows up and becomes the largest of all the garden herbs, and sends out large branches so that the birds of the sky are able to nest in its shade." 33 And with many parables such as these he was speaking the word to them, as they were able to hear [it].t 34 And he did not speak to them without a parable, but in private he explained everything to his own disciples.

Calming of a Storm

35 And on that day, [when it]u was evening, he said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him along, as he was, in the boat. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great storm of wind developed, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already being filled [with water].v 38 And he was in the stern sleeping on the cushion, and they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, is it not a concern to you that we are perishing?" 39 And he woke up [and]w rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Be quiet! Be silent!" And the wind abated and there was a great calm. 40 And he said to them, "Why are you fearful? Do you not yet have faith?" 41 And {they were terribly frightened}x and began to sayy to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
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