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. Chapter 4.

The Parable of the Sower - [ Mk.4.1-9 → ] - Mt.13.1-9, Lk.8.4-8

1 ON ANOTHER OCCASION he began to teach by the lake-side. The crowd that gathered round him was so large that he had to get into a boat on the lake, and there he sat, with the whole crowd on the beach right down to the water's edge. 2 And he taught them many things by parables.

As he taught he said:

3 'Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened that as he sowed, some seed fell along the footpath; and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some seed fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil, and it sprouted quickly because it had no depth of earth; 6 but when the sun rose the young corn was scorched, and as it had no proper root it withered away. 7 Some seed fell among thistles; but the thistles shot up and choked the corn, and it yielded no crop. 8 And some of the seed fell into good soil, where it came up and grew, and bore fruit; and the yield was thirtyfold, sixtyfold, even a hundredfold.'
9 He added, 'If you have ears to hear, then hear.'

The Purpose of the Parables - [ Mk.4.10-12 → ] - Mt.13.10-17, Lk.8.9-10

10 When he was alone, the Twelve and others who were round him questioned him about the parables. 11 He replied, 'To you the secret of the kingdom of God has been given, but to those who are outside everything comes by way of parables, 12 [ Is.6.9-10. ] so that (as Scripture says) they may look and look, but see nothing; they may hear and hear, but understand nothing; otherwise they might turn to God and be forgiven.'

The Parable of the Sower Explained - [ Mk.4.13-20 → ] - Mt.13.18-23, Lk.8.11-13

13 So he said, 'You do not understand this parable? How then are you to understand any parable? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 Those along the footpath are people in whom the word is sown, but no sooner have they heard it than Satan comes and carries off the word which has been sown in them. 16 It is the same with those who receive the seed on rocky ground; as soon as they hear the word, they accept it with joy, 17 but it strikes no root in them; they have no staying-power; then, when there is trouble or persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. 18 Others again receive the seed among thistles; they hear the word, 19 but worldly cares and the false glamour of wealth and all kinds of evil desire come in and choke the word, and it proves barren. 20 And there are those who receive the seed in good soil; they hear the word and welcome it; and they bear fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or a hundredfold.'

A Light under a Bushel - [ Mk.4.21-25 → ] - Lk.8.16-18

21 He said to them, 'Do you bring in the lamp to put it under the meal-tub, or under the bed? Surely it is brought to be set on the lamp-stand? 22 For nothing is hidden unless it is to be disclosed, and nothing put under cover unless it is to come into the open. 23 If you have ears to hear, then hear.'

24 He also said, 'Take note of what you hear; the measure you give is the measure you will receive, 25 with something more besides. For the man who has will be given more, and the man who has not will forfeit even what he has.'

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26 He said, 'The kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed on the land; 27 he goes to bed at night and gets up in the morning, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he does not know. 28 The ground produces a crop by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then full-grown corn in the ear; 29 but as soon as the crop is ripe, he sets to work with the sickle, because harvest-time has come.'

The Parable of the Mustard Seed - [ Mk.4.30-32 → ] - Mt.13.31-33, Lk.13.18-21

30 He said also, 'How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we describe it? 31 It is like the mustard-seed, which is smaller than any seed in the ground at its sowing. 32 But once sown, it springs up and grows taller than any other plant, and forms branches so large that the birds can settle in its shade.'

The Use of the Parables - [ Mk.4.33-34 → ] - Mt.13.34-35

33 With many such parables he would give them his message, so far as they were able to receive it. 34 He never spoke to them except in parables; but privately to his disciples he explained everything.

Miracles of Christ

The Calming of a Storm (Sea of Gennesaret) - [ Mk.4.35-41 → ] - Mt.8.23-27, Lk.8.22-25

35 THAT DAY, in the evening, he said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.' 36 So they left the crowd and took him with them in the boat where he had been sitting; and there were other boats accompanying him. 37 A heavy squall came on and the waves broke over the boat until it was all but swamped. 38 Now he was in the stern asleep on a cushion; they roused him and said, 'Master, we are sinking! Do you not care?' 39 He stood up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Hush! Be still!' The wind dropped and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, 'Why are you such cowards? Have you no faith even now?' 41 They were awestruck and said to one another, 'Who can this be whom even the wind and the sea obey?'

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