21 Jesus continued, “Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl or under the bed? Isn't it put on the lampstand? 22 Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be uncovered. 23 Listen, then, if you have ears!”
24 He also said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear! The same rules you use to judge others will be used by God to judge you—but with even greater severity. 25 Those who have something will be given more, and those who have nothing will have taken away from them even the little they have.”
The Parable of the Growing Seed
26 Jesus went on to say, “The Kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed in his field. 27 He sleeps at night, is up and about during the day, and all the while the seeds are sprouting and growing. Yet he does not know how it happens. 28 The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit; first the tender stalk appears, then the head, and finally the head full of grain. 29 When the grain is ripe, the man starts cutting it with his sickle, because harvest time has come.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 “What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?” asked Jesus. “What parable shall we use to explain it? 31 It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed, the smallest seed in the world, and plants it in the ground. 32 After a while it grows up and becomes the biggest of all plants. It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in its shade.”
33 Jesus preached his message to the people, using many other parables like these; he told them as much as they could understand. 34 He would not speak to them without using parables, but when he was alone with his disciples, he would explain everything to them.
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