1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside,
2 but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the shore,
3 and he told them many things in parables. He said, 'Listen, a sower went out to sow.
4 As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at once, because there was no depth of earth;
6 but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away.
7 Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 Anyone who has ears should listen!'
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why do you talk to them in parables?'
11 In answer, he said, 'Because to you is granted to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not granted.
12 Anyone who has will be given more and will have more than enough; but anyone who has not will be deprived even of what he has.
13 The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding.
14 So in their case what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah is being fulfilled: Listen and listen, but never understand! Look and look, but never perceive!
15 This people's heart has grown coarse, their ears dulled, they have shut their eyes tight to avoid using their eyes to see, their ears to hear, their heart to understand, changing their ways and being healed by me.
16 'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear!
17 In truth I tell you, many prophets and upright people longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.
18 'So pay attention to the parable of the sower.
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the seed sown on the edge of the path.
20 The seed sown on patches of rock is someone who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy.
21 But such a person has no root deep down and does not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, at once he falls away.
22 The seed sown in thorns is someone who hears the word, but the worry of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and so it produces nothing.
23 And the seed sown in rich soil is someone who hears the word and understands it; this is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.'
24 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25 While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.
26 When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, then the darnel appeared as well.
27 The owner's labourers went to him and said, "Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?"
28 He said to them, "Some enemy has done this." And the labourers said, "Do you want us to go and weed it out?"
29 But he said, "No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it.
30 Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn." '
31 He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field.
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32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air can come and shelter in its branches.'
33 He told them another parable, 'The kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.'
34 In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables.
35 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: I will speak to you in parables, unfold what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.
36 Then, leaving the crowds, he went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, 'Explain to us the parable about the darnel in the field.'
37 He said in reply, 'The sower of the good seed is the Son of man.
38 The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the Evil One;
39 the enemy who sowed it, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels.
40 Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time.
41 The Son of man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of falling and all who do evil,
42 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
43 Then the upright will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Anyone who has ears should listen!
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off in his joy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.
45 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls;
46 when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that is cast in the sea and brings in a haul of all kinds of fish.
48 When it is full, the fishermen bring it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in baskets and throw away those that are no use.
49 This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the upright,
50 to throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
51 'Have you understood all these?' They said, 'Yes.'
52 And he said to them, 'Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom new things as well as old.'
53 When Jesus had finished these parables he left the district;
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, 'Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?
55 This is the carpenter's son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude?
56 His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?'
57 And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is despised only in his own country and in his own house,'
58 and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.