The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"
He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven1 has been given to you,2 but not to them.12Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.313This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.414In them is fulfilled5 the prophecy of Isaiah: " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.15For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'a616But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.717For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see8 but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.18"Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: