1 Jesus again began teaching along the shore of the lake [of Galilee]. A huge crowd gathered around Him so that He had to sit in a boat out in the lake [to speak to them], while all the crowd stood on the shore. 2 He taught the people many things using parables [to illustrate His lessons]. In His teaching He said to them, 3 "Listen carefully A farmer went out to plant seed, 4 and it happened, as he sowed [i.e., scattering the seed by hand], some of it fell by the side of the road and birds came and ate it. 5 And some seed fell on rocky ground where there was not much soil, and immediately it sprouted up because the soil was so shallow. 6 But when the sun came up the newly sprouted plants were scorched, and because they had no roots, [soon] withered away. 7 And other seeds fell among thorns which grew up and choked them so that they yielded no crop. 8 Then other seeds fell into fertile soil, and growing up to maturity, they yielded an ever increasing crop. They produced thirty, sixty and even a hundred times [as much as was planted]." 9 And Jesus said, "Whoever has ears to hear with ought to listen [to this] carefully."
10 And when He was alone those people who gathered around Him, along with the twelve apostles, asked Him what the parables meant. 11 He said to them, "You disciples are being given an understanding of the secret of the kingdom of God, but to outsiders everything will be told in parables. 12 This is so that even though they see, they will see and yet not perceive. And even though they hear, they will hear and yet not understand. For if they did, they would turn [back to God] again and receive forgiveness."
13 And Jesus continued to speak to them, "Do you not know what this parable means? Then how can you understand any of the other parables? 14 A farmer planted 'the word' [i.e., the message of God]. 15 Some of the seed that fell along the roadside represents where 'the word' was sown [i.e., preached]. When these people have heard, immediately Satan comes and takes away 'the word' which had been sown in them. 16 And in the same way, some [of the seed] that was sown on rocky soil represented those who heard 'the word' and immediately accepted it gladly, 17 but [since] they had such shallow roots, they continued on for [only] a little while. Then, when trouble and persecution arose over [obeying] 'the word,' immediately they stumbled [i.e., and fell away from God]. 18 And other seeds represent those who are sown among thorns. These are people who heard 'the word,' 19 but worry [over things] of the world, and the deceitfulness of material wealth, and the evil desires for other things entered their hearts and choked [the effectiveness of] 'the word,' so that it did not yield a crop [in their lives]. 20 Then there were those who were sown on fertile soil. These represent people who heard 'the word,' accepted it and yielded a crop of thirty, sixty and even a hundred times [as much as was planted]."
21 Then He said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel-sized container, or under the bed, instead of on its stand? 22 For there is nothing that is hidden that should not be exposed. Neither is anything covered up that should not be revealed. 23 If anyone has ears to hear with, he ought to listen to this carefully." 24 And He said to them, "Pay attention to what you are hearing from me. The standard you use in giving [to others] is the standard they will use on you, with even more added. 25 For to the person who [already] has something, [more] will be given, and from the person who has [almost] nothing, even what [little] he has will be taken away from him."
26 And Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is like a farmer who scattered seed on the ground, 27 then went to bed and got up the next day to find that the seed had sprouted and grown, yet he did not know how it happened. 28 The soil yields its crop, first the green sprout, then the ears of grain, and then the kernels in the ears. 29 But when the grain ripens the farmer wields his sickle because harvest time has come."
30 And He continued to speak, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? Or, what parable will [best] illustrate it? 31 It is similar to a seed from the mustard tree which, when planted in the ground, 32 even though it is the least [significant] of all seeds on earth, becomes larger than all other plants. It develops huge branches so that the birds of the sky can roost in their shade."
33 And He spoke "the word" to them [i.e., the crowds] with as many such parables as they were able to receive. 34 And He did not speak to them [i.e., concerning the kingdom] without using a parable, but He explained everything to His own disciples privately.
35 When evening came that day He said to the disciples, "Let us go over to the other side [i.e., the east side of Lake Galilee]." 36 And leaving the crowd, the disciples took Him in their boat just the way He was [i.e., this probably means without His making provision for the trip]. They were accompanied by other boats also. 37 [Then] a violent windstorm arose [on the lake] and huge waves began splashing into the boat until it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping on a pillow in the stern of the boat. They awakened Him, shouting, "Teacher, do you not care that we are sinking?"
39 He [immediately] awoke and spoke sternly to the wind and called out to the water, "Be peaceful and still." [Immediately] the wind stopped blowing and a great calm came over the water. 40 And He said to His disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you not still have [any] faith?"