The Parable of the Sower
1On that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. # Mk 4:1-12; Lk 8:4-10 2Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore. # Mk 3:9; Lk 5:3
3Then He told them many things in parables, # Mt 13:10,34-36; 15:15; 21:33,45; 22:1; 24:32; Mk 4:2 saying: “Consider the sower who went out to sow. 4As he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Others fell on rocky ground, where there wasn’t much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. 6But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered. 7Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. 8Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown. # Gn 26:12; Mt 13:23 9Anyone who has ears # Other mss add to hear should listen! ” # Mt 11:15; 13:43; Lk 8:8; 14:35; Rv 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22
Why Jesus Used Parables
10Then the disciples # Mt 9:10; Mk 10:10; Lk 6:1; Jn 6:3; Ac 6:1 came up and asked Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables? ” # Mt 13:35; 15:15; 21:33,45; 22:1; 24:32
11He answered them, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, # Mt 11:25; 19:11; Jn 6:65; 1Co 2:10; Col 1:27; 1Jn 2:20,27 but it has not been given to them. 12For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. # Mt 25:29; Lk 8:18; 19:26; Jn 15:2; Jms 4:6 13For this reason I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, # Dt 29:4; Is 42:19-20; Jr 5:21; Ezk 12:2 and hearing they do not listen or understand. # Mt 15:10; 16:12; 17:13; Mk 8:21 14Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:
You will listen and listen,
yet never understand;
and you will look and look,
yet never perceive. # Is 6:9; Mk 4:12; Lk 8:10; Jn 12:40; Ac 28:26-27; Rm 11:8
15For this people’s heart has grown callous;
their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn back —
and I would cure them. # Is 6:10; Mt 15:8; Heb 5:11 # Is 6:9-10
16“But your eyes are blessed # Lk 10:23-24 because they do see, and your ears because they do hear! # Mt 16:17; Jn 20:29 17For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them. # Jn 8:56; Heb 11:13; 1Pt 1:10-12
The Parable of the Sower Explained
18“You, then, listen to the parable of the sower: # Mk 4:13-20; Lk 8:11-15 19When anyone hears the word # Gk logos = word, or message, or saying, or thing about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. # Mt 4:23; 5:37; 6:13 20And the one sown on rocky ground — this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. # Is 58:2; Ezk 33:31-32; Mk 6:20; Jn 5:35 21Yet he has no root in himself, but is short-lived. When pressure or persecution # Mk 4:17; 10:30; Ac 8:1; 13:50; Rm 8:35; 2Co 12:10 comes because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22Now the one sown among the thorns — this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age # Rm 12:2; 2Tm 4:10; 1Jn 2:15 and the seduction # Or pleasure, or deceitfulness of wealth # Mt 19:23; Mk 10:23; 1Tm 6:9-10; 2Tm 4:10 choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23But the one sown on the good ground — this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields: some 100, some 60, some 30 times what was sown.”
The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds
24He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. # Mt 18:23; 20:1; 25:1; Mk 4:26,30 25But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds # Or darnel, a weed similar in appearance to wheat in the early stages among the wheat, and left. 26When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. 27The landowner’s slaves # Mt 10:24; Col 3:11; 4:1; Rv 1:1 came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from? ’
28“ ‘An enemy did this! ’ he told them.
“ ‘So, do you want us to go and gather them up? ’ the slaves asked him.
29“ ‘No,’ he said. ‘When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn.’ ”
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Yeast
31He # Mk 4:30-32; Lk 13:18-19 presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven # Mt 13:24; 17:20; Lk 17:6 is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32It’s the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it’s taller than the vegetables and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.” # Ps 104:12; Ezk 17:23; 31:6; Dn 4:12
33He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into 50 pounds # Lit 3 sata ; about 40 quarts of flour until it spread through all of it.” # Or until all of it was leavened # Gn 18:6; Lk 13:21; Gl 5:9
Using Parables Fulfills Prophecy
34Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables, and He would not speak anything to them without a parable, # Mk 4:34; Jn 10:6; 16:25 35so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:
I will open My mouth in parables;
I will declare things kept secret
from the foundation of the world. # Ps 78:2; Rm 16:25-26; 1Co 2:7; Eph 3:9; Col 1:26 # Ps 78:2
Jesus Interprets the Wheat and the Weeds
36Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, “Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.” # Mt 13:3; 15:15; 21:33,45; 22:1; 24:32
37He replied: “The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world; and the good seed — these are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, # Mt 8:12; Jn 8:44; Ac 13:10; 1Jn 3:10 39and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. # Jl 3:13; Heb 9:26; Rv 14:15 40Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. # Mt 24:3; 28:20 41The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin # Or stumbling and those guilty of lawlessness. # Or those who do lawlessness # Zph 1:3; Mt 8:20; 18:7; 24:31 42They will throw them into the blazing furnace # Rv 1:15; 9:2 where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. # Mt 8:12; Rv 19:20; 20:10 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears # Other mss add to hear should listen! # Dn 12:3; Mt 11:15; 1Co 15:42
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and of the Priceless Pearl
44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field. # Is 55:1; Php 3:7-8; Rv 3:18
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. 46When he found one priceless # Or very precious pearl, he went and sold everything he had, and bought it. # Pr 2:4; Mt 7:6
The Parable of the Net
47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind of fish, # Mt 3:2; 13:44; 22:10 48and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good fish into containers, but threw out the worthless ones. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, separate the evil people from the righteous, # Mt 13:39-40; 25:32 50and throw them into the blazing furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. # Mt 8:12; 13:42
The Storehouse of Truth
51“Have you understood all these things? ” # Other mss add Jesus asked them
“Yes,” they told Him.
52“Therefore,” He said to them, “every student of Scripture # Or every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who brings out of his storeroom what is new and what is old.” # Mt 12:35; 28:19 53When Jesus had finished these parables, He left there.
Rejection at Nazareth
54He went to His hometown # Mk 6:1-6; Lk 4:16-30 and began to teach them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “How did this wisdom and these miracles come to Him? # Mt 2:23; 4:23; 7:28 55Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? # Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3; Lk 3:23; Jn 6:42 Isn’t His mother called Mary, and His brothers James, # Jms 1:1; Jd 1 Joseph, # Other mss read Joses ; Mk 6:3 Simon, and Judas? # Mt 12:46; Jn 7:5 56And His sisters, aren’t they all with us? So where does He get all these things? ” 57And they were offended by Him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household.” # Jr 11:21; 12:6; Lk 4:24; Jn 4:44 58And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.