He said to them, “A lamp is not brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed, is it? Is it not [brought in] to be put on the lampstand? For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been kept secret, but that it would come to light [that is, things are hidden only temporarily, until the appropriate time comes for them to be known]. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear and heed My words.” Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [and you will be given even greater ability to respond]—and more will be given to you besides. For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him.”
Then He said, “The kingdom of God is like a man who throws seed on the ground; and he goes to bed at night and gets up every day, and [in the meantime] the seed sprouts and grows; how [it does this], he does not know. The earth produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head [of grain], then the mature grain in the head. But when the crop ripens, he immediately puts in the sickle [to reap], because [the time for] the harvest has come.”
And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use to illustrate and explain it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when it is sown on the ground, even though it is smaller than all the [other] seeds that are [sown] on the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden herbs; and it puts out large branches, so that THE BIRDS OF THE SKY are able to MAKE NESTS and LIVE UNDER ITS SHADE.”
With many such parables, Jesus spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear and understand it; and He did not say anything to them without [using] a parable; He did, however, explain everything privately to His own disciples.