Luke 8:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:

New Living Translation
One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him:

English Standard Version
And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable,

Berean Study Bible
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, He told them this parable:

Berean Literal Bible
And as a great crowd is assembling, and those from each town are coming to Him, He spoke by a parable:

New American Standard Bible
When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable:

King James Bible
And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As a large crowd was gathering, and people were flocking to Him from every town, He said in a parable:

International Standard Version
Now while a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from every city, he said in a parable:

NET Bible
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from one town after another, he spoke to them in a parable:

New Heart English Bible
When a large crowd came together, and people from every city were coming to him, he spoke by a parable.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And when a great crowd had gathered, and they were coming to him from all the cities, he said in a parable:

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When a large crowd had gathered and people had come to Jesus from every city, he used this story as an illustration:

New American Standard 1977
And when a great multitude were coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable:

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when many people were gathered together and were come to him out of every city, he spoke by a parable:

King James 2000 Bible
And when many people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spoke by a parable:

American King James Version
And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spoke by a parable:

American Standard Version
And when a great multitude came together, and they of every city resorted unto him, he spake by a parable:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when a very great multitude was gathered together, and hastened out of the cities unto him, he spoke by a similitude.

Darby Bible Translation
And a great crowd coming together, and those who were coming to him out of each city, he spoke by parable:

English Revised Version
And when a great multitude came together, and they of every city resorted unto him, he spake by a parable:

Webster's Bible Translation
And when many people were collected, and had come to him out of every city, he spoke by a parable:

Weymouth New Testament
And when a great crowd was assembling, and was receiving additions from one town after another, He spoke a parable to them.

World English Bible
When a great multitude came together, and people from every city were coming to him, he spoke by a parable.

Young's Literal Translation
And a great multitude having gathered, and those who from city and city were coming unto him, he spake by a simile:
Study Bible
The Parable of the Sower
3Joanna the wife of Herod’s household manager Chuza, Susanna, and many others. These women were ministering to them out of their own means. 4While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, He told them this parable: 5“A farmer went out to sow his seed. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, where it was trampled, and the birds of the air devoured it.…
Cross References
Matthew 13:1
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.

Matthew 13:2
Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat down, while all the people stood on the shore.

Mark 4:1
Once again, Jesus began to teach beside the sea, and such a large crowd gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat in it. All the people crowded along the shore,

Luke 8:5
"A farmer went out to sow his seed. And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, where it was trampled, and the birds of the air devoured it.
Treasury of Scripture

And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spoke by a parable:

Matthew 13:2 And great multitudes were gathered together to him, so that he went …

Mark 4:1 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered …

(4) And when much people were gathered . . .--The narrative is less precise than that in St. Matthew. It is possible that the parable may have been repeated more than once.

Verses 4-15. - The parable of the sower, and the Lord's interpretation of it. Verse 4. - And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable. A great change, it is clear, took place in our Lord's way of working at this period. We have already (in the note on ver. 1) remarked that from henceforth he dwelt no longer in one centre, his own city Capernaum, but moved about from place to place. A new way of teaching was now adopted - that of the "parable." It was from this time onward that, when he taught, he seems generally to have spoken in those famous parables, or stories, in which so much of his recorded teaching is shrined. Hitherto in his preaching he had occasionally made use of similes or comparisons, as in Luke 5:6 and Luke 6:29, 48; but he only began the formal use of the parable at this period, and the parable of the sower seems to have been the earliest spoken. Perhaps because it was the first, perhaps on account of the far-reaching nature of its contents, the story of "the sower" evidently impressed itself with singular force upon the minds of the disciples. It evidently formed a favourite "memory" among the first heralds of the new faith. It is the only one, with the exception of the vine-dressers, one of the latest spoken, which has been preserved by the three - Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It is identical in structure and in teaching in all the three, which shows that they were relating the same story. It differs, however, in detail; we thus gather that the three did not copy from one primitive document, but that these "memories" were derived either from their own recollections or at least from different sources. Now, what induced the Master thus deliberately to change the manner of his teaching? In other words, why, from this time forward, does he veil so much of his deep Divine thought in parables? Let us consider the attitude of the crowds who till now had been listening to him. What may be termed the Galilaean revival had well-nigh come to an end. The enthusiasm he had evoked by his burning words, his true wisdom, his novel exposition of what belonged to human life and duty, was, when he left Capernaum and began his preaching in every little village (ver. 1), at its height. But the great Heart-reader knew well that the hour of reaction was at hand. Then the pressure of the crowds which thronged him was so great that, to speak this first parable, he had to get into a boat and address the multitude standing on the shore (Matthew 13:2); but the moment was at hand which St. John (John 6:66) refers to in his sad words, "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." It was in view of that moment that Jesus commenced his parable-teaching with "the sower." As regards the great mass of the people who had crowded to hear his words and look on his miracles, the Lord knew that his work had practically failed. At the first he spoke to the people plainly. The sermon on the mount, for instance, contains little, if anything, of the parable form; but they understood him not, forming altogether false views of the kingdom he described to them. He now changes his method of teaching, veiling his thoughts in parables, in order that his own, to whom privately he gave the key to the right understanding of the parables, should see more clearly, and that those who deliberately misunderstood him - the hostile Pharisee and Sadducee, for instance - should be simply mystified and perplexed as to the Teacher's meaning; while the merely thoughtless might possibly be fascinated and attracted by this new manner of teaching, which evidently veiled some hidden meaning. These last would probably be induced to inquire further as to the meaning of these strange parable-stories. Professor Bruce, who has very ably discussed the reasons which induced Christ at this period of his ministry to speak in parables, says there is a mood which leads a man to present his thoughts in this form. "It is the mood of one whose heart is chilled, and whose spirit is saddened by a sense of loneliness, and who, retiring within himself by a process of reflection, frames for his thoughts forms which half conceal, half reveal them - reveal them more perfectly to those who understand, hide them from those who do not (and will not) - forms beautiful, but also melancholy, as the hues of forest in late autumn. It' this view be correct, we should expect the teaching in parables would not form a feature of the initial stage of Christ's ministry. And such accordingly was the fact." As regarded the men of his own generation, did he use the parable way of teaching almost as a fan to separate the wheat from the chaff? "That he had to speak in parables was one of the burdens of the Son of man, to be placed side by side with the fact that he had not where to lay his head" (Professor Bruce, 'Parabolic Teaching of Christ,' book 1. ch. 1.). And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city. The impression of the witness who told the story to Luke and Paul evidently was that at this period of the Lord's ministry vast crowds flocked to listen or to see.. St. Matthew expresses the same conviction in a different but in an equally forcible manner. Only the Lord knew how hollow all this seeming popularity was, and how soon the crowds would melt away. He spake by a parable. Roughly to distinguish between the parable and the fable: The fable would tell its moral truth, but its imagery might be purely fanciful; for instance, animals, or even trees, might be represented as reasoning and speaking. The parable, on the contrary, never violated probability, but told its solemn lesson, often certainly in a dramatic form, but its imagery was never fanciful or impossible. And when much people were gathered together,.... To Jesus, as he was by the sea side, the sea of Galilee, or Tiberias:

and were come to him out of every city; of Galilee, to hear him preach, and see miracles:

he spake by a parable; the following things. Lu 8:4-18. Parable of the Sower.

(See on [1596]Mr 4:3-9, [1597]Mr 4:14-20.)8:4-21 There are many very needful and excellent rules and cautions for hearing the word, in the parable of the sower, and the application of it. Happy are we, and for ever indebted to free grace, if the same thing that is a parable to others, with which they are only amused, is a plain truth to us, by which we are taught and governed. We ought to take heed of the things that will hinder our profiting by the word we hear; to take heed lest we hear carelessly and slightly, lest we entertain prejudices against the word we hear; and to take heed to our spirits after we have heard the word, lest we lose what we have gained. The gifts we have, will be continued to us or not, as we use them for the glory of God, and the good of our brethren. Nor is it enough not to hold the truth in unrighteousness; we should desire to hold forth the word of life, and to shine, giving light to all around. Great encouragement is given to those who prove themselves faithful hearers of the word, by being doers of the work. Christ owns them as his relations.
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