Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given —and you will receive even more.
To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”
Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground.
Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.
The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.
And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”
Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?
It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds,
but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”
Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand.
In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”
So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).