Shortly after this He visited town after town, and village after village, proclaiming His Message and telling the Good News of the Kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him,
and certain women whom He had delivered from evil spirits and various diseases--Mary of Magdala, out of whom seven demons had come,
and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many other women, all of whom contributed to the support of Jesus and His Apostles.
And when a great crowd was assembling, and was receiving additions from one town after another, He spoke a parable to them.
"The sower," He said, "goes out to sow his seed; and as he sows, some of the seed falls by the way-side, and is trodden upon, or the birds of the air come and peck it up.
Another part drops upon the rock, and after growing up it withers away for want of moisture.
Another part falls among the thorns, and the thorns grow up with it and stifle it.
But some of the seed falls into good ground, and grows up and yields a return of a hundred for one." While thus speaking, He cried aloud and said, "Listen, every one who has ears to listen with!"
The disciples proceeded to ask Him what this parable meant.
"To you," He replied, "it is granted to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God; but all others are taught by parables, in order that they may see and yet not see, and may hear and yet not understand.
The meaning of the parable is as follows. The seed is God's Message.
Those by the way-side are those who have heard, and then the Devil comes and carries away the Message from their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Those on the rock are the people who on hearing the Message receive it joyfully; but they have no root: for a time they believe, but when trial comes they fall away.
That which fell among the thorns means those who have heard, but as they go on their way, the Message is stifled by the anxieties, wealth and gaieties of time, and they yield nothing in perfection.
But as for that in the good ground, it means those who, having listened to the Message with open minds and in a right spirit, hold it fast, and patiently yield a return.
"When any one lights a lamp, he does not cover it with a vessel or hide it under a couch; he puts it on a lampstand, that people who enter the room may see the light.
There is nothing hidden, which shall not be openly seen; nor anything secret, which shall not be known and come into the light of day.
Be careful, therefore, how you hear; for whoever has anything, to him more shall be given, and whoever has nothing, even that which he thinks he has shall be taken away from him."
Then came to Him His mother and His brothers, but could not get near Him for the crowd.
But He was told, "Your mother and brothers are standing on the edge of the crowd, and want to see you."
"My mother and my brothers," He replied, "are these who hear God's Message and obey it."
One day He went on board a boat--both He and his disciples; and He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side of the Lake." So they set sail.
During the passage He fell asleep, and there came down a squall of wind on the Lake, so that the boat began to fill and they were in deadly peril.
So they came and woke Him, crying, "Rabbi, Rabbi, we are drowning." Then He roused Himself and rebuked the wind and the surging of the water, and they ceased and there was a calm.
"Where is your faith?" He asked them. But they were filled with terror and amazement, and said to one another, "Who then is this? for He gives orders both to wind and waves, and they obey Him."
Then they put in to shore in the country of the Gerasenes, which lies opposite to Galilee.
Here, on landing, He was met by one of the townsmen who was possessed by demons--for a long time he had not put on any garment, nor did he live in a house, but in the tombs.
When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of God Most High? Do not torture me, I beseech you."
For already He had been commanding the foul spirit to come out of the man. For many a time it had seized and held him, and they had repeatedly put him in chains and fetters and kept guard over him, but he used to break the chains to pieces, and, impelled by the demon, to escape into the Desert.
"What is your name?" Jesus asked him. "Legion," he replied--because a great number of demons had entered into him;
and they besought Him not to command them to be gone into the Bottomless Pit.
Now there was a great herd of swine there feeding on the hill-side; and the demons begged Him to give them leave to go into them, and He gave them leave.
The demons came out of the man and left him, and entered into the swine; and the herd rushed violently over the cliff into the Lake and were drowned.
The swineherds, seeing what had happened, fled and reported it both in town and country;
whereupon the people came out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and they found the man from whom the demons had gone out sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind; and they were terrified.
And those who had seen it told them how the demoniac was cured.
Then the whole population of the Gerasenes and of the adjacent districts begged Him to depart from them; for their terror was great. So He went on board and returned.
But the man from whom the demons had gone out earnestly asked permission to go with Him; but He sent him away.
"Return home," He said, "and tell there all that God has done for you." So he went and published through the whole town all that Jesus had done for him.
Now when Jesus was returning, the people gave Him a warm welcome; for they had all been looking out for Him.
Just then there came a man named Jair, a Warden of the Synagogue, who threw himself at the feet of Jesus, and entreated Him to come to his house;
for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. And as He went, the dense throng crowded on Him.
And a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with haemorrhage--and had spent on doctors all she had, but none of them had been able to cure her--
came close behind Him and touched the tassel of His robe; and instantly her flow of blood stopped.
"Who is it touched me?" Jesus asked. And when all denied having done so, Peter and the rest said, "Rabbi, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing on you."
"Some one has touched me," Jesus replied, "for I feel that power has gone out from me."
Then the woman, perceiving that she had not escaped notice, came trembling, and throwing herself down at His feet she stated before all the people the reason why she had touched Him and how she was instantly cured.
"Daughter," said He, "your faith has cured you; go, and be at peace."
While He was still speaking, some one came to the Warden of the Synagogue from his house and said, "Your daughter is dead; trouble the Rabbi no further."
Jesus heard the words and said to him, "Have no fear. Only believe, and she shall be restored to life."
So He came to the house, but allowed no one to go in with Him but Peter and John and James and the girl's father and mother.
The people were all weeping aloud and beating their breasts for her; but He said, "Leave off wailing; for she is not dead, but asleep."
And they jeered at Him, knowing that she was dead.
He, however, took her by the hand and called aloud, "Child, awake!"
And her spirit returned, and instantly she stood up; and He directed them to give her some food.
Her parents were astounded; but He forbad them to mention the matter to any one.