Jesus Teaches in Parables
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting beside the sea. 2 But such great crowds gathered about Him that He got into a boat and remained sitting there, while all the throng stood on the shore.
3 And He told them many things in parables (stories by way of illustration and comparison), saying, A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil; and at once they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they dried up and withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them out. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil, and yielded grain -- "some a hundred times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing.
10 Then the disciples came to Him and said, Why do You speak to them in parables? 11 And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will be furnished richly so that he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because having the power of seeing, they do not see; and having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand. 14 In them indeed is the process of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive. 15 For this nation's heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them.
16 But blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men [men who were upright and in right standing with God] yearned to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
The Sower Explained
18 Listen then to the [meaning of the] parable of the sower: 19 While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside. 20 As for what was sown on thin (rocky) soil, this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts it with joy; 21 Yet it has no real root in him, but is temporary (inconstant, lasts but a little while); and when affliction or trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble [he is repelled and begins to distrust and desert Him Whom he ought to trust and obey] and he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it; he indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty.
Weeds among Wheat
24 Another parable He set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while he was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed also darnel (weeds resembling wheat) among the wheat, and went on his way. 26 So when the plants sprouted and formed grain, the darnel (weeds) appeared also. 27 And the servants of the owner came to him and said, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then how does it have darnel shoots in it? 28 He replied to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and weed them out? 29 But he said, No, lest in gathering the wild wheat (weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat along with it. 30 Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers, Gather the darnel first and bind it in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my granary.
The Mustard Seed
31 Another story by way of comparison He set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. 32 Of all the seeds it is the smallest, but when it has grown it is the largest of the garden herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and find shelter in its branches.
33 He told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like leaven ( sour dough) which a woman took and covered over in three measures of meal or flour till all of it was leavened.
34 These things all taken together Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, without a parable He said nothing to them. 35 This was in fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet: I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world.
The Weeds Explained
36 Then He left the throngs and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him saying, Explain to us the parable of the darnel in the field. 37 He answered, He Who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed means the children of the kingdom; the darnel is the children of the evil one, 39 And the enemy who sowed it is the devil. The harvest is the close and consummation of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the darnel (weeds resembling wheat) is gathered and burned with fire, so it will be at the close of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of offense [ persons by whom others are drawn into error or sin] and all who do iniquity and act wickedly, 42 And will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth. 43 Then will the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let him who has ears [to hear] be listening, and let him consider and perceive and understand by hearing.
44 The kingdom of heaven is like something precious buried in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.
A Costly Pearl
45 Again the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a dealer in search of fine and precious pearls, 46 Who, on finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet which was cast into the sea and gathered in fish of every sort. 48 When it was full, men dragged it up on the beach, and sat down and sorted out the good fish into baskets, but the worthless ones they threw away. 49 So it will be at the close and consummation of the age. The angels will go forth and separate the wicked from the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) 50 And cast them [the wicked] into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.
51 Have you understood all these things [parables] taken together? They said to Him, Yes, Lord. 52 He said to them, Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar].
Jesus Revisits Nazareth
53 When Jesus had finished these parables (these comparisons), He left there. 54 And coming to His own country [Nazareth], He taught in their synagogue so that they were amazed with bewildered wonder, and said, Where did this Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? 55 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? 56 And do not all His sisters live here among us? Where then did this Man get all this? 57 And they took offense at Him [they were repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority, and caused to stumble]. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house. 58 And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in the divine mission of Jesus).