Mark 4
NET Bible

The Parable of the Sower

1Again he began to teach by the lake. Such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there while the whole crowd was on the shore by the lake. 2He taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching said to them: 3“Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground where it did not have much soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. 6When the sun came up it was scorched, and because it did not have sufficient root, it withered. 7Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up and choked it, and it did not produce grain. 8But other seed fell on good soil and produced grain, sprouting and growing; some yielded thirty times as much, some sixty, and some a hundred times.” 9And he said, “Whoever has ears to hear had better listen!”

The Purpose of Parables

10When he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11He said to them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those outside, everything is in parables,

12so that although they look they may look but not see,

and although they hear they may hear but not understand,

so they may not repent and be forgiven.

13He said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? Then how will you understand any parable? 14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: Whenever they hear, immediately Satan comes and snatches the word that was sown in them. 16These are the ones sown on rocky ground: As soon as they hear the word, they receive it with joy. 17But they have no root in themselves and do not endure. Then, when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18Others are the ones sown among thorns: They are those who hear the word, 19but worldly cares, the seductiveness of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it produces nothing. 20But these are the ones sown on good soil: They hear the word and receive it and bear fruit, one thirty times as much, one sixty, and one a hundred.”

The Parable of the Lamp

21He also said to them, “A lamp isn’t brought to be put under a basket or under a bed, is it? Isn’t it to be placed on a lampstand? 22For nothing is hidden except to be revealed, and nothing concealed except to be brought to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, he had better listen!” 24And he said to them, “Take care about what you hear. The measure you use will be the measure you receive, and more will be added to you. 25For whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26He also said, “The kingdom of God is like someone who spreads seed on the ground. 27He goes to sleep and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28By itself the soil produces a crop, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29And when the grain is ripe, he sends in the sickle because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30He also asked, “To what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to present it? 31It is like a mustard seed that when sown in the ground, even though it is the smallest of all the seeds in the ground – 32when it is sown, it grows up, becomes the greatest of all garden plants, and grows large branches so that the wild birds can nest in its shade.”

The Use of Parables

33So with many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear. 34He did not speak to them without a parable. But privately he explained everything to his own disciples.

Stilling of a Storm

35On that day, when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go across to the other side of the lake.” 36So after leaving the crowd, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat, and other boats were with him. 37Now a great windstorm developed and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was nearly swamped. 38But he was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. They woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?” 39So he got up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Be quiet! Calm down!” Then the wind stopped, and it was dead calm. 40And he said to them, “Why are you cowardly? Do you still not have faith?” 41They were overwhelmed by fear and said to one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!”

Mark 3
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