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Again Jesus began to teach beside the lake. And a very great crowd gathered about Him, so that He got into a ship in order to sit in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was at the lakeside on the shore.

And He taught them many things in parables (illustrations or comparisons put beside truths to explain them), and in His teaching He said to them:

Give attention to this! Behold, a sower went out to sow.

And as he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

Other seed [of the same kind] fell on ground full of rocks, where it had not much soil; and at once it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil;

And when the sun came up, it was scorched, and because it had not taken root, it withered away.

Other seed [of the same kind] fell among thorn plants, and the thistles grew and pressed together and utterly choked and suffocated it, and it yielded no grain.

And other seed [of the same kind] fell into good (well-adapted) soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielded up to thirty times as much, and sixty times as much, and even a hundred times as much as had been sown.

And He said, He who has ears to hear, let him be hearing [and let him [a]consider, and comprehend].

10 And as soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, with the Twelve [apostles], began to ask Him about the parables.

11 And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God [that is, [b]the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [[c]of our circle] everything becomes a parable,

12 In order that they may [indeed] look and look but not see and perceive, and may hear and hear but not grasp and comprehend, [d]lest haply they should turn again, and it [[e]their willful rejection of the truth] should be forgiven them.(A)

13 And He said to them, Do you not discern and understand this parable? How then is it possible for you to discern and understand all the parables?

14 The sower sows the Word.

15 The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them.

16 And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy;

17 And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.

18 And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word;

19 Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.

20 And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.

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Footnotes

  1. Mark 4:9 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  2. Mark 4:11 Kenneth Wuest, Word Studies.
  3. Mark 4:11 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  4. Mark 4:12 A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures.
  5. Mark 4:12 Kenneth Wuest, Word Studies.

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