After this, while Jesus was traveling through some cities and small towns, he preached and told the Good News about God's kingdom. The twelve apostles were with him,
and also some women who had been healed of sicknesses and evil spirits: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out;
Joanna, the wife of Cuza (the manager of Herod's house); Susanna; and many others. These women used their own money to help Jesus and his apostles.
When a great crowd was gathered, and people were coming to Jesus from every town, he told them this story:
"A farmer went out to plant his seed. While he was planting, some seed fell by the road. People walked on the seed, and the birds ate it up.
Some seed fell on rock, and when it began to grow, it died because it had no water.
Some seed fell among thorny weeds, but the weeds grew up with it and choked the good plants.
And some seed fell on good ground and grew and made a hundred times more." As Jesus finished the story, he called out, "You people who can hear me, listen!"
Jesus' followers asked him what this story meant.
Jesus said, "You have been chosen to know the secrets about the kingdom of God. But I use stories to speak to other people so that: 'They will look, but they may not see. They will listen, but they may not understand.'
"This is what the story means: The seed is God's message.
The seed that fell beside the road is like the people who hear God's teaching, but the devil comes and takes it away from them so they cannot believe it and be saved.
The seed that fell on rock is like those who hear God's teaching and accept it gladly, but they don't allow the teaching to go deep into their lives. They believe for a while, but when trouble comes, they give up.
The seed that fell among the thorny weeds is like those who hear God's teaching, but they let the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life keep them from growing and producing good fruit.
And the seed that fell on the good ground is like those who hear God's teaching with good, honest hearts and obey it and patiently produce good fruit.
"No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. Instead, the person puts it on a lampstand so those who come in will see the light.
Everything that is hidden will become clear, and every secret thing will be made known.
So be careful how you listen. Those who have understanding will be given more. But those who do not have understanding, even what they think they have will be taken away from them."
Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but there was such a crowd they could not get to him.
Someone said to Jesus, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."
Jesus answered them, "My mother and my brothers are those who listen to God's teaching and obey it!"
One day Jesus and his followers got into a boat, and he said to them, "Let's go across the lake." And so they started across.
While they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep. A very strong wind blew up on the lake, causing the boat to fill with water, and they were in danger.
The followers went to Jesus and woke him, saying, "Master! Master! We will drown!" Jesus got up and gave a command to the wind and the waves. They stopped, and it became calm.
Jesus said to his followers, "Where is your faith?" The followers were afraid and amazed and said to each other, "Who is this that commands even the wind and the water, and they obey him?"
Jesus and his followers sailed across the lake from Galilee to the area of the Gerasene people.
When Jesus got out on the land, a man from the town who had demons inside him came to Jesus. For a long time he had worn no clothes and had lived in the burial caves, not in a house.
When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him. He said with a loud voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!"
He said this because Jesus was commanding the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had taken hold of him. Though he had been kept under guard and chained hand and foot, he had broken his chains and had been forced by the demon out into a lonely place.
Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He answered, "Legion," because many demons were in him.
The demons begged Jesus not to send them into eternal darkness.
A large herd of pigs was feeding on a hill, and the demons begged Jesus to allow them to go into the pigs. So Jesus allowed them to do this.
When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd ran down the hill into the lake and was drowned.
When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and told about this in the town and the countryside.
And people went to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man sitting at Jesus' feet, clothed and in his right mind, because the demons were gone. But the people were frightened.
The people who saw this happen told the others how Jesus had made the man well.
All the people of the Gerasene country asked Jesus to leave, because they were all very afraid. So Jesus got into the boat and went back to Galilee.
The man whom Jesus had healed begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying,
"Go back home and tell people how much God has done for you." So the man went all over town telling how much Jesus had done for him.
When Jesus got back to Galilee, a crowd welcomed him, because everyone was waiting for him.
A man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue, came to Jesus and fell at his feet, begging him to come to his house.
Jairus' only daughter, about twelve years old, was dying. While Jesus was on his way to Jairus' house, the people were crowding all around him.
A woman was in the crowd who had been bleeding for twelve years, but no one was able to heal her.
She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his coat, and instantly her bleeding stopped.
Then Jesus said, "Who touched me?" When all the people said they had not touched him, Peter said, "Master, the people are all around you and are pushing against you."
But Jesus said, "Someone did touch me, because I felt power go out from me."
When the woman saw she could not hide, she came forward, shaking, and fell down before Jesus. While all the people listened, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.
Jesus said to her, "Dear woman, you are made well because you believed. Go in peace."
While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue leader and said to him, "Your daughter is dead. Don't bother the teacher anymore."
When Jesus heard this, he said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid. Just believe, and your daughter will be well."
When Jesus went to the house, he let only Peter, John, James, and the girl's father and mother go inside with him.
All the people were crying and feeling sad because the girl was dead, but Jesus said, "Stop crying. She is not dead, only asleep."
The people laughed at Jesus because they knew the girl was dead.
But Jesus took hold of her hand and called to her, "My child, stand up!"
Her spirit came back into her, and she stood up at once. Then Jesus ordered that she be given something to eat.
The girl's parents were amazed, but Jesus told them not to tell anyone what had happened.