Matthew 13International Standard Version (ISV)
The Parable about a Farmer
13 That day Jesus left the house and sat down beside the sea. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, while the entire crowd stood on the shore. 3 Then he began to tell them many things in parables. He said, “Listen! A farmer went out to sow. 4 As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on stony ground, where they did not have a lot of soil. They sprouted at once because the soil wasn’t deep. 6 But when the sun came up, they were scorched. Since they did not have any roots, they dried up. 7 Other seeds fell among thorn bushes, and the thorn bushes grew higher and choked them out. 8 But other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop, some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown.[a] 9 Let the person who has ears[b] listen!”
The Purpose of the Parables
11 He answered them, “You have been given knowledge about the secrets of the kingdom from[e] heaven, but it hasn’t been given to them, 12 because to anyone who has something, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who doesn’t have anything, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 That’s why I speak to them in parables, because
‘they look but don’t see,
14 “With them the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says:
‘You will listen and listen but never understand.
16 “How blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear! 17 I tell all of you[h] with certainty, many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see but did not see them, and to hear the things you hear but did not hear them.”
Jesus Explains the Parable about the Farmer
18 “Listen, then, to the parable about the farmer. 19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom yet doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on the stony ground, this is the person who hears the word and accepts it joyfully at once, 21 but since he doesn’t have any root in himself, he lasts for only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes along because of the word, he immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among the thorn bushes, this is the person who hears the word, but the worries of life and the deceitful pleasures of wealth choke the word so that it can’t produce a crop. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word, understands it, and produces a crop that yields 100, 60, or 30 times what was sown.”[i]
The Parable about the Weeds among the Wheat
24 He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom from[j] heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 While people were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 When the crop came up and bore grain, the weeds appeared, too.
27 “The owner’s servants came and asked him, ‘Master, you sowed good seed in your field, didn’t you? Then where did these weeds come from?’
28 “He told them, ‘An enemy did this!’
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them out?’
29 “He said, ‘No! If you pull out the weeds, you might pull out the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles for burning, but bring the wheat into my barn.”’”
The Parables about a Mustard Seed and Yeast
31 He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom from[k] heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in his field. 32 Although it is the smallest of[l] all seeds, when it is fully grown it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, and the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches.”
Why Jesus Used Parables
Jesus Explains the Parable about the Weeds
36 Then Jesus[s] left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to him and asked, “Explain to us the parable about the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The person who sowed good seed is the Son of Man, 38 while the field is the world. The good seed are those who belong to[t] the kingdom, while the weeds are those who belong to[u] the evil one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the Devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Just as weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so it will be at end of the[v] age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everything that causes others to sin and those who practice lawlessness 42 and they will throw them into a blazing furnace. In that place there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.[w] 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Let the person who has ears[x] listen!”
The Parable about a Hidden Treasure
44 “The kingdom from[y] heaven is like treasure hidden in a field that a man found and hid. In his excitement he went and sold everything he had and bought that field.”
The Parable about a Valuable Pearl
45 “Again, the kingdom from[z] heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. 46 When he found a very valuable pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it.”
The Parable about a Net
47 “Again, the kingdom from[aa] heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea that gathered all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen[ab] hauled it ashore. Then they sat down, sorted the good fish into containers, and threw the bad ones away. 49 That is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, cull out the evil people from among the righteous ones, 50 and will throw them into a blazing furnace. In that place there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”[ac]
New and Old Treasures
51 “Do you understand all these things?”
They told him, “Yes.”
52 Then he told them, “That is why every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom from[ad] heaven is like the master of a household who brings both new and old things out of his treasure chest.”
Jesus is Rejected at Nazareth
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place. 54 He went to his hometown and began teaching the people[ae] in their synagogue in such a way that they were amazed and asked, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miracles? 55 This is the builder’s[af] son, isn’t it? His mother is named Mary, isn’t she? His brothers are James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, aren’t they? 56 And his sisters are all with us, aren’t they? So where did this man get all these things?” 57 And they were offended by him.
But Jesus told them, “A prophet is without honor only in his hometown and in his own home.” 58 He did not perform many miracles there because of their unbelief.
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