A Story About Planting Seed(A)
4 Again Jesus began teaching by the lake [C the Sea of Galilee]. A great crowd gathered around him, so he sat down in a boat near the shore. All the people stayed on the shore close to the water. 2 Jesus taught them many things, using ·stories [parables; see 3:23]. He said, 3 “Listen! A ·farmer [sower] went out to ·plant [sow] his seed. 4 While he was ·planting [sowing], some seed fell ·by the road [along the path], and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some seed fell on rocky ground where there wasn’t much dirt. That seed ·grew [sprang up] very fast, because the ground was not deep. 6 But when the sun rose, the plants ·dried up [were scorched and withered] because they did not have deep roots. 7 Some other seed fell among thorny weeds, which grew and choked the good plants. So those plants did not produce ·a crop [grain]. 8 Some other seed fell on good ground and began to grow. It got taller and produced ·a crop [grain]. Some plants made thirty times more, some made sixty times more, and some made a hundred times more.”
9 Then Jesus said, ·“Let those with ears use them and listen!” [L “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”]
Jesus Tells Why He Used Stories(B)
10 Later, when Jesus was alone, the twelve apostles and others around him asked him about the ·stories [parables; see 3:23].
11 Jesus said, “·You can know [To you has been given] the secret about the kingdom of God. But to ·other people [outsiders] I tell everything by using ·stories [parables] 12 so that:
‘They will look and look, but they will not ·learn [perceive].
They will listen and listen, but they will not understand.
·If they did learn and understand [L Otherwise],
they ·would [might] ·come back [return] to me and be forgiven [Is. 6:9–10; cf. Is. 43:8; Jer. 5:21; Ezek. 12:2].’”
Jesus Explains the Seed Story(C)
13 Then Jesus said to ·his followers [L them], “Don’t you understand this ·story [parable]? If you don’t, how will you understand any ·story [parable; see 3:23]? 14 ·The farmer plants God’s message in people [L The sower sows the word]. 15 Sometimes the ·teaching [word; message] falls ·on the road [along the path]. This is like the people who hear the ·teaching of God [word; message], but Satan quickly comes and takes away the ·teaching [word; message] that was ·planted [sown] in them. 16 Others are like the seed ·planted [sown] on rocky ground. They hear the ·teaching [word; message] and quickly accept it with joy. 17 ·But since they don’t allow the teaching to go deep into their lives [L But since they have no root in themselves], they keep it only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the ·teaching they accepted [word; message], they quickly ·give up [fall away; stumble]. 18 Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the ·teaching [word; message], 19 but the worries of this ·life [world; age], the ·temptation [deceitfulness; seduction] of wealth, and ·many other evil desires [desires for other things] ·keep the teaching from growing and producing fruit in their lives [L come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful]. 20 Others are like the seed ·planted [sown] in the good ground. They hear the ·teaching [word; message] and accept it. Then they grow and produce ·fruit [a crop]—sometimes thirty times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes a hundred times more.”
Use What You Have(D)
21 Then Jesus said to them, “Do you hide a lamp under a ·bowl [basket] or under a bed? No! You put the lamp on a lampstand. 22 [For] Everything that is hidden will be ·made clear [revealed; disclosed] and every ·secret [concealed] thing will be ·made known [brought to light/into the open]. 23 ·Let those with ears use them and listen! [L “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]
24 [And he said to them,] “·Think carefully about [Pay attention to] what you hear. ·The way you give to others is the way God will give to you [or The standard you use to judge others will be the standard used for you; L With the measure you measure, it will be measured to you], ·but God will give you even more [and even more will be added to you]. 25 Those who ·have understanding [L have] will be given more. But those who do not ·have understanding [L have], even what they have will be taken away from them. [C The Greek does not say what they have; but the context suggests spiritual understanding to comprehend the mysteries of the kingdom (v. 11).]
Jesus Tells a Story About Seed
26 Then Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like someone who ·plants seed in [scatters seed on] the ground. 27 Night and day, whether the person is asleep or awake, the seed still [sprouts and] grows, but the person does not know how it grows. 28 By itself the earth produces grain. First the ·plant [blade; stalk] grows, then the head, and then ·all the [the ripe] grain in the head. 29 When the grain is ready, the farmer cuts it [with a sickle], because this is the harvest time.”
A Story About Mustard Seed(E)
30 Then Jesus said, “How can I show you what the kingdom of God is like? What ·story [parable; see 3:23] can I use to explain it? 31 The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, the smallest seed you plant in the ground. [C The mustard seed was the smallest seed known to Jesus’ hearers.] 32 But when planted, this seed grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants. It produces large branches, and the wild birds can make nests in its shade.”
33 Jesus used many ·stories [parables] like these to teach the crowd God’s ·message [word]—as much as they could ·understand [hear]. 34 He always used ·stories [parables] to teach them. But when he and his ·followers [disciples] were alone, Jesus explained everything to them.
Jesus Calms a Storm(F)
35 That evening, Jesus said to ·his followers [L them], “Let’s go across the lake.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him in the boat just as he was [C meaning he was already in the boat; 4:1]. There were also other boats with them. 37 A very strong wind came up on the lake. The waves came over the sides and into the boat so that it was ·already full of water [nearly swamped]. 38 Jesus was at the ·back of the boat [stern], sleeping on a cushion. ·His followers [L They] woke him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are ·drowning [perishing]?”
39 Jesus stood up and ·commanded [reprimanded; rebuked] the wind and said to the ·waves [sea], “·Quiet! [T Peace!] Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm. [C This parallels God’s subduing of the waters representing chaos in the OT; Ps. 65:7; 89:9; 107:29.]
40 Jesus said to ·his followers [L them], “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were ·very afraid [terrified; filled with awe] and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the ·waves [sea] obey him!”
New International Version
4 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake.(C) The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables,(D) and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.(E) 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”(F)
9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”(G)
10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God(H) has been given to you. But to those on the outside(I) everything is said in parables 12 so that,
13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word.(K) 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan(L) comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth(M) and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
A Lamp on a Stand
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?(N) 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.(O) 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”(P)
24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.(Q) 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”(R)
The Parable of the Growing Seed
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like.(S) A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”(T)
The Parable of the Mustard Seed(U)
30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like,(V) or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.(W) 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable.(X) But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
Jesus Calms the Storm(Y)
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.(Z) There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”(AA)
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
- Mark 4:12 Isaiah 6:9,10