He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God1 has been given to you. But to those on the outside2 everything is said in parables
so that, " 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!' "3
Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
The farmer sows the word.4
Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan5 comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;
but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth6 and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."
He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand?7