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Matthew 13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus Teaches in Parables

13 That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. And [a]large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell [b]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, [c]let him hear.”

An Explanation

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 [d]Jesus answered them, To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 [e]In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

[f]You will keep on hearing, [g]but will not understand;
[h]You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
15 For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Sower Explained

18 Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the [i]word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the [j]word, immediately he [k]falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the [l]world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Tares among Wheat

24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven [m]may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed [n]tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the [o]wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? [p]How then does it have tares?’ 28 And he said to them, ‘An [q]enemy has done this!’ The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he *said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The Mustard Seed

31 He presented another parable to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the [r]air come and nest in its branches.”

The Leaven

33 He spoke another parable to them, The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three [s]pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

34 All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

I will open My mouth in parables;
I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world.”

The Tares Explained

36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the [t]tares of the field.” 37 And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the [u]end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the [v]end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom [w]all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, [x]let him hear.

Hidden Treasure

44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

A Costly Pearl

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

A Dragnet

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; 48 and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 So it will be at the [y]end of the age; the angels will come forth and [z]take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 “Have you understood all these things?” They *said to Him, “Yes.” 52 And [aa]Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”

Jesus Revisits Nazareth

53 When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there. 54 He came to [ab]His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these [ac]miraculous powers? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his [ad]hometown and in his own household.” 58 And He did not do many [ae]miracles there because of their unbelief.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:2 Lit Many
  2. Matthew 13:7 Lit upon
  3. Matthew 13:9 Or hear! Or listen!
  4. Matthew 13:11 Lit He
  5. Matthew 13:14 Lit For them
  6. Matthew 13:14 Lit With a hearing you will hear
  7. Matthew 13:14 Lit and
  8. Matthew 13:14 Lit Seeing you will see
  9. Matthew 13:19 I.e. message
  10. Matthew 13:21 I.e. message
  11. Matthew 13:21 Lit is caused to stumble
  12. Matthew 13:22 Or age
  13. Matthew 13:24 Lit was compared to
  14. Matthew 13:25 Or darnel, a weed resembling wheat
  15. Matthew 13:26 Lit grass
  16. Matthew 13:27 Lit From where
  17. Matthew 13:28 Lit enemy man
  18. Matthew 13:32 Or sky
  19. Matthew 13:33 Gr sata
  20. Matthew 13:36 Or darnel, a weed resembling wheat
  21. Matthew 13:39 Or consummation
  22. Matthew 13:40 Or consummation
  23. Matthew 13:41 Or everything that is offensive
  24. Matthew 13:43 Or hear! Or listen!
  25. Matthew 13:49 Or consummation
  26. Matthew 13:49 Or separate
  27. Matthew 13:52 Lit He
  28. Matthew 13:54 Or His own part of the country
  29. Matthew 13:54 Or miracles
  30. Matthew 13:57 Or own part of the country
  31. Matthew 13:58 Or works of power
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Matthew 13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears[a] listen!”

The Purpose of the Parables

10 Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets[b] of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 13 The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ 14 With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:

‘You will indeed listen, but never understand,
    and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
15 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
    and their ears are hard of hearing,
        and they have shut their eyes;
        so that they might not look with their eyes,
    and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
    and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.[c] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

The Parable of Weeds among the Wheat

24 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27 And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

31 He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

The Parable of the Yeast

33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with[d] three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

The Use of Parables

34 Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. 35 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet:[e]

“I will open my mouth to speak in parables;
    I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.”[f]

Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears[g] listen!

Three Parables

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; 46 on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Treasures New and Old

51 “Have you understood all this?” They answered, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” 53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he left that place.

The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth

54 He came to his hometown and began to teach the people[h] in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” 58 And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:9 Other ancient authorities add to hear
  2. Matthew 13:11 Or mysteries
  3. Matthew 13:21 Gk stumbles
  4. Matthew 13:33 Gk hid in
  5. Matthew 13:35 Other ancient authorities read the prophet Isaiah
  6. Matthew 13:35 Other ancient authorities lack of the world
  7. Matthew 13:43 Other ancient authorities add to hear
  8. Matthew 13:54 Gk them
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Matthew 13 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

13 The same day Jesus going out of the house, sat by the sea side.

And great multitudes were gathered unto him, so that he went up into a boat and sat: and all the multitude stood on the shore.

And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying: Behold the sower went forth to sow.

And whilst he soweth some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and ate them up.

And other some fell upon stony ground, where they had not much earth: and they sprung up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth.

And when the sun was up they were scorched: and because they had not root, they withered away.

And others fell among thorns: and the thorns grew up and choked them.

And others fell upon good ground: and they brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

10 And his disciples came and said to him: Why speakest thou to them in parables?

11 Who answered and said to them: Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven: but to them it is not given.

12 For he that hath, to him shall be given, and he shall abound: but he that hath not, from him shall be taken away that also which he hath.

13 Therefore do I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And the prophecy of Isaias is fulfilled in them, who saith: By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive.

15 For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.

17 For, amen, I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them.

18 Hear you therefore the parable of the sower.

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, there cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart: this is he that received the seed by the way side.

20 And he that received the seed upon stony ground, is he that heareth the word, and immediately receiveth it with joy.

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but is only for a time: and when there ariseth tribulation and persecution because of the word, he is presently scandalized.

22 And he that received the seed among thorns, is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choketh up the word, and he becometh fruitless.

23 But he that received the seed upon good ground, is he that heareth the word, and understandeth, and beareth fruit, and yieldeth the one an hundredfold, and another sixty, and another thirty.

24 Another parable he proposed to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seeds in his field.

25 But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way.

26 And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle.

27 And the servants of the goodman of the house coming said to him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it cockle?

28 And he said to them: An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?

29 And he said: No, lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it.

30 Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn.

31 Another parable he proposed unto them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field.

32 Which is the least indeed of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof.

33 Another parable he spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened.

34 All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes: and without parables he did not speak to them.

35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.

36 Then having sent away the multitudes, he came into the house, and his disciples came to him, saying: Expound to us the parable of the cockle of the field.

37 Who made answer and said to them: He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man.

38 And the field, is the world. And the good seed are the children of the kingdom. And the cockle, are the children of the wicked one.

39 And the enemy that sowed them, is the devil. But the harvest is the end of the world. And the reapers are the angels.

40 Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire: so shall it be at the end of the world.

41 The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity.

42 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

43 Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

44 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

45 Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls.

46 Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.

47 Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes.

48 Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth.

49 So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.

50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 Have ye understood all these things? They say to him: Yes.

52 He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.

53 And it came to pass: when Jesus had finished these parables, he passed from thence.

54 And coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogues, so that they wondered and said: How came this man by this wisdom and miracles?

55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude:

56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence therefore hath he all these things?

57 And they were scandalized in his regard. But Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

58 And he wrought not many miracles there, because of their unbelief.

Matthew 13 The Message (MSG)

A Harvest Story

13 1-3 At about that same time Jesus left the house and sat on the beach. In no time at all a crowd gathered along the shoreline, forcing him to get into a boat. Using the boat as a pulpit, he addressed his congregation, telling stories.

3-8 “What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.

“Are you listening to this? Really listening?”

Why Tell Stories?

10 The disciples came up and asked, “Why do you tell stories?”

11-15 He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it. I don’t want Isaiah’s forecast repeated all over again:

Your ears are open but you don’t hear a thing.
    Your eyes are awake but you don’t see a thing.
The people are blockheads!
They stick their fingers in their ears
    so they won’t have to listen;
They screw their eyes shut
    so they won’t have to look,
    so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face
    and let me heal them.

16-17 “But you have God-blessed eyes—eyes that see! And God-blessed ears—ears that hear! A lot of people, prophets and humble believers among them, would have given anything to see what you are seeing, to hear what you are hearing, but never had the chance.

The Meaning of the Harvest Story

18-19 “Study this story of the farmer planting seed. When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn’t take it in, it just remains on the surface, and so the Evil One comes along and plucks it right out of that person’s heart. This is the seed the farmer scatters on the road.

20-21 “The seed cast in the gravel—this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.

22 “The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it.

23 “The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”

24-26 He told another story. “God’s kingdom is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. That night, while his hired men were asleep, his enemy sowed thistles all through the wheat and slipped away before dawn. When the first green shoots appeared and the grain began to form, the thistles showed up, too.

27 “The farmhands came to the farmer and said, ‘Master, that was clean seed you planted, wasn’t it? Where did these thistles come from?’

28 “He answered, ‘Some enemy did this.’

“The farmhands asked, ‘Should we weed out the thistles?’

29-30 “He said, ‘No, if you weed the thistles, you’ll pull up the wheat, too. Let them grow together until harvest time. Then I’ll instruct the harvesters to pull up the thistles and tie them in bundles for the fire, then gather the wheat and put it in the barn.’”

31-32 Another story. “God’s kingdom is like a pine nut that a farmer plants. It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course of years it grows into a huge pine tree, and eagles build nests in it.”

33 Another story. “God’s kingdom is like yeast that a woman works into the dough for dozens of loaves of barley bread—and waits while the dough rises.”

34-35 All Jesus did that day was tell stories—a long storytelling afternoon. His storytelling fulfilled the prophecy:

I will open my mouth and tell stories;
I will bring out into the open
    things hidden since the world’s first day.

The Curtain of History

36 Jesus dismissed the congregation and went into the house. His disciples came in and said, “Explain to us that story of the thistles in the field.”

37-39 So he explained. “The farmer who sows the pure seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the pure seeds are subjects of the kingdom, the thistles are subjects of the Devil, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, the curtain of history. The harvest hands are angels.

40-43 “The picture of thistles pulled up and burned is a scene from the final act. The Son of Man will send his angels, weed out the thistles from his kingdom, pitch them in the trash, and be done with them. They are going to complain to high heaven, but nobody is going to listen. At the same time, ripe, holy lives will mature and adorn the kingdom of their Father.

“Are you listening to this? Really listening?

44 “God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field.

45-46 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls. Finding one that is flawless, he immediately sells everything and buys it.

47-50 “Or, God’s kingdom is like a fishnet cast into the sea, catching all kinds of fish. When it is full, it is hauled onto the beach. The good fish are picked out and put in a tub; those unfit to eat are thrown away. That’s how it will be when the curtain comes down on history. The angels will come and cull the bad fish and throw them in the garbage. There will be a lot of desperate complaining, but it won’t do any good.”

51 Jesus asked, “Are you starting to get a handle on all this?”

They answered, “Yes.”

52 He said, “Then you see how every student well-trained in God’s kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it.”

53-57 When Jesus finished telling these stories, he left there, returned to his hometown, and gave a lecture in the meetinghouse. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise, get such ability?” But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “We’ve known him since he was a kid; he’s the carpenter’s son. We know his mother, Mary. We know his brothers James and Joseph, Simon and Judas. All his sisters live here. Who does he think he is?” They got their noses all out of joint.

58 But Jesus said, “A prophet is taken for granted in his hometown and his family.” He didn’t do many miracles there because of their hostile indifference.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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