That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach.
And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,
but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away.
Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
He who has ears, let him hear."
Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: 'You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive.
For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.'
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
"Hear then the parable of the sower.
When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path.
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."
Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;
but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?'
He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?'
But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field;
it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches."
He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable.
This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world."
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."
He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;
the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one,
and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind;
when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.
So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous,
and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
"Have you understood all this?" They said to him, "Yes."
And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old."
And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there,
and coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house."
And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus;
and he said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him."
For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of Hero'di-as, his brother Philip's wife;
because John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.
But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Hero'di-as danced before the company, and pleased Herod,
so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter."
And the king was sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given;
he sent and had John beheaded in the prison,
and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
And his disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."
They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish."
And he said, "Bring them here to me."
Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them.
And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea.
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear.
But immediately he spoke to them, saying, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."
And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water."
He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus;
but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent round to all that region and brought to him all that were sick,
and besought him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)