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Mark 4:3-20 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

“Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn’t have deep soil. When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn’t have a root, it withered. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” Then He said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”

Why Jesus Used Parables

10 When He was alone with the Twelve, those who were around Him asked Him about the parables. 11 He answered them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those outside, everything comes in parables 12 so that

they may look and look,
yet not perceive;
they may listen and listen,
yet not understand;
otherwise, they might turn back—
and be forgiven.[a][b]

The Parable of the Sower Explained

13 Then He said to them: “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any of the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These[c] are the ones along the path where the word is sown: when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word sown in them.[d] 16 And these are[e] the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root in themselves; they are short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately stumble. 18 Others are sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the worries of this age, the seduction[f] of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But the ones sown on good ground are those who hear the word, welcome it, and produce a crop: 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.”

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 4:12 Other mss read and their sins be forgiven them
  2. Mark 4:12 Is 6:9-10
  3. Mark 4:15 Some people
  4. Mark 4:15 Other mss read in their hearts
  5. Mark 4:16 Other mss read are like
  6. Mark 4:19 Or pleasure, or deceitfulness
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