Matthew 13 Expanded Bible (EXB)
A Story About Planting Seed
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake [C the Sea of Galilee]. 2 Large crowds gathered around him, so he got into a boat and sat down, while the people stood on the shore. 3 Then Jesus used ·stories [parables] to teach them many things. He said: “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 all 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. 8 Some other seed fell on good ground where it grew and produced ·a crop [grain]. Some plants made a hundred times more, some made sixty times more, and some made thirty times more. 9 ·Let those with ears use them and listen [L The one who has ears to hear, let him hear].”
Why Jesus Used Stories to Teach
10 The ·followers [disciples] came to Jesus and asked, “Why do you ·use stories to teach the people [L speak to them in parables]?”
11 Jesus answered, “·You have been chosen [L It has been granted/given to you] to ·know [understand] the ·secrets [mysteries] about the kingdom of heaven, but ·others cannot know these secrets [L it has not been given/granted to those others]. 12 Those who ·have understanding [L have] will be given more, and they will have ·all they need [an abundance]. But those who do not ·have understanding [L have], even what they have will be taken away from them. 13 This is why I ·use stories to teach the people [L speak in parables]: [L Because] They ·see [look], but they don’t ·really see [perceive]. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand. 14 ·So they show that the things Isaiah said about them are true [L In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says]:
‘You will ·listen and listen [keep on hearing; or listen intently], but you will not understand.
16 But ·you [L your eyes] are blessed, because you see with your eyes and hear with your ears. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and ·good [righteous; just] people ·wanted [longed] to see the things that you now see, but they did not see them. And they ·wanted [longed] to hear the things that you now hear, but they did not hear them.
Jesus Explains the Seed Story
18 “So listen to the ·meaning of that story about the farmer [parable of the sower]. 19 What is the seed that fell ·by the road [along the path]? That seed is like ·the person [anyone] who hears the ·message [word; teaching] about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One comes and ·takes away [snatches] what was ·planted [sown] in that person’s heart. 20 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on rocky ground? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] and quickly ·accepts [receives] it with joy. 21 But ·he does not let the teaching go deep into his life, so [L since he has no root in himself] ·he keeps it only a short time [he does not endure; it is shortlived]. When trouble or persecution comes because of the ·teaching he accepted [word, message], he ·quickly [immediately] ·gives up [falls away; stumbles]. 22 And what is the seed ·that fell [sown] among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person who hears the ·teaching [word; message] but lets worries about this ·life [world; age] and the ·temptation [deceitfulness; seduction] of wealth ·stop that teaching from growing [L choke the word/message]. So the teaching does not produce fruit in that person’s life. 23 But what is the seed ·that fell [sown] on the good ground? That seed is like the person who hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and produces ·fruit [a crop], sometimes a hundred times more, sometimes sixty times more, and sometimes thirty times more.”
A Story About Wheat and Weeds
24 Then Jesus ·told [presented to] them another ·story [parable]: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who ·planted [sowed] good seed in his field. 25 That night, when everyone was asleep, his enemy came and ·planted [sowed] ·weeds [T tares; C a noxious weed that looks like wheat] among the wheat and then left. 26 Later, the wheat sprouted and the heads of grain grew, but the ·weeds [T tares] also ·grew [appeared]. 27 Then the man’s ·servants [slaves] came to him and said, ‘[Master; Sir] ·You planted [L Didn’t you sow…?] good seed in your field. Where did the ·weeds [T tares] come from?’ 28 The man answered, ‘An enemy ·planted weeds [L did this].’ The ·servants [slaves] asked, ‘Do you want us to ·pull up the weeds [L go and gather them]?’ 29 The man answered, ‘No, because when you ·pull up [gather] the ·weeds [T tares], you might also ·pull up [uproot] the wheat. 30 Let ·the weeds and the wheat [L both] grow together until the harvest time. At harvest time I will tell the ·workers [reapers], “First gather the ·weeds [T tares] and tie them ·together [in bundles] to be burned. Then gather the wheat and bring it to my barn.”’”
Stories of Mustard Seed and Yeast
31 Then Jesus ·told [presented to them] another ·story [parable]: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man ·planted [sowed] in his field. 32 That seed is the smallest of all seeds [C the mustard seed was the smallest seed known to Jesus’ hearers], but when it grows, it is one of the largest garden plants. It becomes ·big enough [L a tree] for the ·wild birds [L birds of the sky] to come and build nests in its branches.”
33 Then Jesus told another ·story [parable]: “The kingdom of heaven is like ·yeast [leaven] that a woman took and ·hid [mixed] in a large tub [C Greek: three sata; about fifty pounds] of flour until ·it made all the dough rise [L the whole was leavened; Luke 13:20–21].”
34 Jesus used ·stories [parables] to tell all these things to the people; he ·always used stories to teach them [L did not speak to them without parables; Mark 4:33–34]. 35 This ·is as [fulfills what] the prophet said:
“I will ·speak using [L open my mouth in] ·stories [parables];
Jesus Explains About the Weeds
36 Then Jesus left the crowd and went into the house. His ·followers [disciples] came to him and said, “Explain to us the meaning of the ·story [parable] about the ·weeds [T tares] in the field.”
37 Jesus answered, “The man who ·planted [sowed] the good seed in the field is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed are ·all of God’s children who belong to the kingdom [L the children/sons of the kingdom]. The ·weeds [T tares] are ·those people who belong to the Evil One [L the children/sons of the Evil One]. 39 And the enemy who ·planted [sowed] the bad seed is the devil. The harvest time is the end of the age, and the ·workers who gather [harvesters; reapers] are God’s angels.
40 “Just as the ·weeds [T tares] are ·pulled up [gathered] and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will ·gather [remove; weed] out of his kingdom ·all who [or all things that] ·cause sin [T are stumbling blocks] and all who ·do evil [break God’s law]. 42 The angels will throw them into the blazing furnace [Dan. 3:6], where ·the people will cry and grind their teeth with pain [L there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth; C indicating agony and remorse]. 43 Then the ·good people [righteous] will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father [Dan. 12:3]. ·Let those with ears use them and listen [L The one who has ears to hear, let him hear.].
Stories of a Treasure and a Pearl
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. One day a man found the treasure, and then he hid it in the field again. He was so ·happy [joyful; excited] that he went and sold everything he owned to buy that field.
45 “Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found a very valuable pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it.
A Story of a Fishing Net
47 “Also, the kingdom of heaven is like a ·net [dragnet; C a net dragged between two boats, or between a boat and the shore] that was put into the ·lake [sea] and caught many different kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled the net to the shore. They sat down and put all the good fish in baskets and threw away the ·bad [worthless] fish. 49 It will be this way at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the evil people from the ·good [righteous] people. 50 The angels will throw the evil people into the blazing furnace [Dan. 3:11, 19–30], where ·people will cry and grind their teeth with pain [L there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth; v. 42].”
51 Jesus asked his ·followers [disciples], “Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
52 Then Jesus said to them, “So every ·teacher of the law [scribe] who has ·been taught about [become a disciple of] the kingdom of heaven is like the ·owner [head] of a house. He brings out both new things and old things ·he has saved [L from his treasure/storeroom; C knowledge of the Old Testament provides insight into Jesus’ “new” message of the kingdom of God].”
Jesus Goes to His Hometown
53 When Jesus finished teaching [see 7:28] with these ·stories [parables], he left there. 54 He went to his hometown [C Nazareth; 2:23; Luke 2:39] and taught the people in their synagogue, and they were ·amazed [astonished]. They said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and this power to do miracles? 55 ·He is just [Isn’t this…?] the son of ·a [L the] carpenter. ·His mother is Mary [L Isn’t his mother called Mary…?], and his brothers are James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 And all his sisters are here with us. Where then does this man get all these things?” 57 So the people were ·upset with [offended by] Jesus.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is ·honored everywhere [not dishonored] except in his hometown and in his own ·home [family; household].”
58 So he did not do many miracles there because ·they had no faith [of their unbelief].