Mark 4 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)
The Parable of the Sower
4 Once again Jesus began to teach beside the sea. A huge crowd gathered; so he got into a boat and stationed himself on the sea, with all the crowd on the shore looking out to sea. 2 He taught them lots of things in parables. This is how his teaching went.
3 ‘Listen!’ he said. ‘Once upon a time there was a sower who went out sowing. 4 As he was sowing, some seed fell beside the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on the rock, where it didn’t have much soil. There was no depth to the ground, so it shot up at once; 6 but when the sun came up it was scorched, and withered away, because it hadn’t got any root. 7 Other seed fell in among thorns; the thorns grew up and choked it, and it didn’t give any crop. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil, and gave a harvest, which grew up and increased, and bore a yield, in some cases thirtyfold, in some sixtyfold, and in some a hundredfold.’
9 And he added, ‘If you’ve got ears, then listen!’
10 When they were alone, the people who were around Jesus, with the Twelve, asked him about the parables.
11 ‘The mystery of God’s kingdom is given to you,’ he replied, ‘but for the people outside it’s all in parables, 12 so that “they may look and look but never see, and hear and hear but never understand; otherwise they would turn and be forgiven”.
13 ‘Don’t you understand the parable?’ he said to them. ‘How are you going to understand all the parables?
14 ‘The sower sows the word. 15 The ones by the path are people who hear the word, but immediately the Accuser comes and takes away the word that has been sown in them. 16 The ones sown on the rock are those who hear the word and accept it with excitement, 17 but don’t have any root in themselves. They are short-term enthusiasts. When the word brings them trouble or hostility they quickly become disillusioned. 18 The others – the ones sown among thorns – are those who hear the word, 19 and the worries of the present age, and the deceit of riches, and desires for other kinds of things, come in and choke the word, so that it produces no fruit. 20 But the ones sown on good soil are the people who hear the word and receive it, and produce fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, some a hundredfold.’
A Lamp on Its Stand
21 Jesus said to them, ‘When you bring a lamp into a room, do you put it under a bucket, or under a bed? Of course not! It goes on a lampstand. 22 No: nothing is secret except what’s meant to be revealed, and nothing is covered up except what’s meant to be uncovered. 23 If you have ears, then listen!
24 ‘Be careful with what you hear,’ he went on. ‘The scales you use will be used for you, and more so. 25 If you have something, you’ll be given more; but if you have nothing, even what you have will be taken away.’
More Seed Parables
26 ‘This is what God’s kingdom is like,’ said Jesus. ‘Once upon a time a man sowed seed on the ground. 27 Every night he went to bed; every day he got up; and the seed sprouted and grew without him knowing how it did it. 28 The ground produces crops by itself: first the stalk, then the ear, then the complete corn in the ear. 29 But when the crop is ready, in goes the sickle at once, because harvest has arrived.’
30 ‘What shall we say God’s kingdom is like?’ he said. ‘What picture shall we give of it? 31 It’s like a grain of mustard seed. When it’s sown on the ground, it’s the smallest of all the seeds of the earth. 32 But when it’s sown, it springs up and becomes the biggest of all shrubs. It grows large branches, so that “the birds of the air make their nests” within its shade.’
33 He used to tell them a lot of parables like this, speaking the word as much as they were able to hear. 34 He never spoke except using parables. But he explained everything to his own disciples in private.
Jesus Calms the Storm
35 That day, when it was evening, Jesus said to them, ‘Let’s go over to the other side.’
36 They left the crowd, and took him with them in the boat he’d been in. There were other boats with him too.
37 A big windstorm blew up. The waves beat on the boat, and it quickly began to fill. 38 Jesus, however, was asleep on a cushion in the stern. They woke him up.
‘Teacher!’ they said to him, ‘We’re going down! Don’t you care?’
39 He got up, scolded the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Silence! Shut up!’
The wind died, and there was a flat calm. 40 Then he said to them, ‘Why are you scared? Don’t you believe yet?’
41 Great fear stole over them. ‘Who is this?’ they said to each other. ‘Even the wind and the sea do what he says!’
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