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Mark 4-5 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Parable of the Sower

Again He began to teach by the sea, and a very large crowd gathered around Him. So He got into a boat on the sea and sat down, while the whole crowd was on the shore facing the sea. He taught them many things in parables, and in His teaching He said to them: “Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn’t have deep soil. When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn’t have a root, it withered. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” Then He said, “Anyone who has ears to hear should listen!”

Why Jesus Used Parables

10 When He was alone with the Twelve, those who were around Him asked Him about the parables. 11 He answered them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those outside, everything comes in parables 12 so that

they may look and look,
yet not perceive;
they may listen and listen,
yet not understand;
otherwise, they might turn back—
and be forgiven.[a][b]

The Parable of the Sower Explained

13 Then He said to them: “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any of the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These[c] are the ones along the path where the word is sown: when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word sown in them.[d] 16 And these are[e] the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root in themselves; they are short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately stumble. 18 Others are sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the worries of this age, the seduction[f] of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But the ones sown on good ground are those who hear the word, welcome it, and produce a crop: 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.”

Using Your Light

21 He also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand? 22 For nothing is concealed except to be revealed, and nothing hidden except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!” 24 Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measure you use,[g] it will be measured and added to you. 25 For to the one who has, it will be given, and from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26 “The kingdom of God is like this,” He said. “A man scatters seed on the ground; 27 he sleeps and rises—night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he doesn’t know how. 28 The soil produces a crop by itself—first the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head. 29 But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 And He said: “How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground. 32 And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the vegetables, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.”

Using Parables

33 He would speak the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. 34 And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples.

Wind and Wave Obey the Master

35 On that day, when evening had come, He told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” 36 So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. 37 A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke Him up and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 Then He said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?”

41 And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Demons Driven Out by the Master

Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes.[h] As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him anymore—even with chains because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me,[i] Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg[j] You before God, don’t torment me!” For He had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”

“What is your name?” He asked him.

“My name is Legion,”[k] he answered Him, “because we are many.” 10 And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

11 Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. 12 The demons[l] begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.” 13 And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. 14 The men who tended them[m] ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and told about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Him to leave their region.

18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. 19 But He would not let him; instead, He told him, “Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.” 20 So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.

A Girl Restored and a Woman Healed

21 When Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the sea. 22 One of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet 23 and kept begging Him, “My little daughter is at death’s door.[n] Come and lay Your hands on her so she can get well and live.”

24 So Jesus went with him, and a large crowd was following and pressing against Him. 25 A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years 26 had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. 27 Having heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe. 28 For she said, “If I can just touch His robes, I’ll be made well!” 29 Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was cured of her affliction.

30 At once Jesus realized in Himself that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My robes?”

31 His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing against You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’

32 So He was looking around to see who had done this. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came with fear and trembling, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. 34 “Daughter,” He said to her, “your faith has made you well.[o] Go in peace and be free[p] from your affliction.”

35 While He was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher anymore?”

36 But when Jesus overheard what was said, He told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” 37 He did not let anyone accompany Him except Peter, James, and John, James’s brother. 38 They came to the leader’s house, and He saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”

40 They started laughing at Him, but He put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with Him, and entered the place where the child was. 41 Then He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!”[q] (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was 12 years old.) At this they were utterly astounded. 43 Then He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this and said that she should be given something to eat.

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 4:12 Other mss read and their sins be forgiven them
  2. Mark 4:12 Is 6:9-10
  3. Mark 4:15 Some people
  4. Mark 4:15 Other mss read in their hearts
  5. Mark 4:16 Other mss read are like
  6. Mark 4:19 Or pleasure, or deceitfulness
  7. Mark 4:24 Lit you measure
  8. Mark 5:1 Some mss read Gadarenes; other mss read Gergesenes
  9. Mark 5:7 Lit What to me and to You
  10. Mark 5:7 Or adjure
  11. Mark 5:9 A Roman legion contained up to 6,000 soldiers; here legion indicates a large number.
  12. Mark 5:12 Other mss read All the demons
  13. Mark 5:14 Other mss read tended the pigs
  14. Mark 5:23 Lit My little daughter has it finally; = to be at the end of life
  15. Mark 5:34 Or has saved you
  16. Mark 5:34 Lit healthy
  17. Mark 5:41 An Aram expression

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