1 Again he began to teach them by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the water and sat there. The whole crowd were at the lakeside on land.
2 He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them,
3 'Listen! Imagine a sower going out to sow.
4 Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
5 Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and at once sprang up, because there was no depth of earth;
6 and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away.
7 Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop.
8 And some seeds fell into rich soil, grew tall and strong, and produced a good crop; the yield was thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.'
9 And he said, 'Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'
10 When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant.
11 He told them, 'To you is granted the secret of the kingdom of God, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables,
12 so that they may look and look, but never perceive; listen and listen, but never understand; to avoid changing their ways and being healed.'
13 He said to them, 'Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?
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14 What the sower is sowing is the word.
15 Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan at once comes and carries away the word that was sown in them.
16 Similarly, those who are sown on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy.
17 But they have no root deep down and do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, at once they fall away.
18 Then there are others who are sown in thorns. These have heard the word,
19 but the worries of the world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing.
20 And there are those who have been sown in rich soil; they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.'
21 He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be put under a tub or under the bed? Surely to be put on the lamp-stand?
22 For there is nothing hidden, but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light.
23 Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'
24 He also said to them, 'Take notice of what you are hearing. The standard you use will be used for you -- and you will receive more besides;
25 anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has.'
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the land.
27 Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know.
28 Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
29 And when the crop is ready, at once he starts to reap because the harvest has come.'
30 He also said, 'What can we say that the kingdom is like? What parable can we find for it?
31 It is like a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth.
32 Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.'
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33 Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it.
34 He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were by themselves.
35 With the coming of evening that same day, he said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side.'
36 And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him.
37 Then it began to blow a great gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped.
38 But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep.
39 They woke him and said to him, 'Master, do you not care? We are lost!' And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Quiet now! Be calm!' And the wind dropped, and there followed a great calm.
40 Then he said to them, 'Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?'
41 They were overcome with awe and said to one another, 'Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.'