Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge.
He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:
3"Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."9
Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."10
When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.
He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables12so that, " 'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!' "13
Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?14The farmer sows the word.15Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.16Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.17But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.18Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;19but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.20Others, 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?22For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."24"Consider carefully what you hear," he continued. "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you--and even more.25Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."
He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.27Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.28All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.29As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."
Again he said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?31It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground.32Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade."33
With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.
He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side."36
Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"41
They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.
When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.
This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.
For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.
He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!"
For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"9
Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many."
And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.
The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them."
He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.
When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man--and told about the pigs as well.
Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."20
So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.
Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet
and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live."
So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him.
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.
She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,
because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."
Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"31
"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.
Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."35
While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?"
Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."37
He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.
When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.
He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep."40
But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.
He took her by the hand and said to her, ""Talitha koum!"" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!").
Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.