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Matthew 13English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, 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 produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears,[a] let him hear.”

The Purpose of the Parables

10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand,
    and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
15 For this people's heart has grown dull,
    and with their ears they can barely hear,
    and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
    and hear 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 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and 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 has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along 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 he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[b] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

The Parable of the Weeds

24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven 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 weeds[c] among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants[d] of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

33 He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

Prophecy and Parables

34 All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:[e]

“I will open my mouth in parables;
    I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to 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 is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons 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 gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

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

The Parable of the Net

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away 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 fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

New and Old Treasures

51 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, 54 and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 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 these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:9 Some manuscripts add here and in verse 43 to hear
  2. Matthew 13:21 Or stumbles
  3. Matthew 13:25 Probably darnel, a wheat-like weed
  4. Matthew 13:27 Or bondservants; also verse 28
  5. Matthew 13:35 Some manuscripts Isaiah the prophet
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Matthew 13New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For 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.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[b] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,
    I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”[c]

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up 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 weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

The Parable of the Net

47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

A Prophet Without Honor

53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters 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 own town and in his own home.”

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:15 Isaiah 6:9,10 (see Septuagint)
  2. Matthew 13:33 Or about 27 kilograms
  3. Matthew 13:35 Psalm 78:2
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Matthew 13The Voice (VOICE)

13 That same day, Jesus left the house and went to sit by the sea. Large crowds gathered around Him, and He got into a boat on the sea and sat there. The crowd stood on the shore waiting for His teaching.

This next sermon series, the third of Jesus’ five Mosaic-like sermons, is filled with parables or stories with a deeper meaning about the kingdom of heaven.

And so Jesus began to teach. On this day, He spoke in parables. Here is His first parable:

Jesus: Once there was a sower who scattered seeds. One day he walked in a field scattering seeds as he went. Some seeds fell beside a road, and a flock of birds came and ate all those seeds. So the sower scattered seeds in a field, one with shallow soil and strewn with rocks. But the seeds grew quickly amid all the rocks, without rooting themselves in the shallow soil. Their roots got tangled up in all the stones. The sun scorched these seeds, and they died. And so the sower scattered seeds near a path, this one covered with thorny vines. The seeds fared no better there—the thorns choked them, and they died. And so finally the sower scattered his seeds in a patch of good earth. At home in the good earth, the seeds grew and grew. Eventually the seeds bore fruit, and the fruit grew ripe and was harvested. The harvest was immense—30, 60, 100 times what was sown.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Disciples: 10 Why do You speak to the people in parables?

Jesus: 11 The knowledge of the secrets of heaven has been given to you, but it has not been given to them. 12 Those who have something will be given more—and they will have abundance. Those who have nothing will lose what they have—they will be destitute. 13 I teach in parables so the people may look but not see, listen but not hear or understand.[a] 14 They are fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy:

You will listen, but you will not understand;
    you will look, but you will not see.
15 The people’s hearts have turned to flab;
    their ears are clogged;
    their eyes are shut.
They will try to see, but they will not see;
    they will try to hear, but they will not hear;
    they will try to understand, but they will not comprehend.
If they, with their blindness and deafness, so choose, then I will heal them.[b]

16-17 Many holy prophets and righteous men and women and people of prayer and doers of good have wanted to see but did not see, and have wanted to hear but did not hear. Your eyes and ears are blessed.

18 This is what the parable of the sower means. 19 It is about the kingdom of heaven. When someone hears the story of the Kingdom and cannot understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away whatever goodness and holiness had been sown in the heart. This is like the seeds sown beside the road. 20-21 You know people who hear the word of God and receive it joyfully—but then, somehow, the word fails to take root in their hearts. It is temporary. As soon as there is trouble for those people, they trip: those people are the seeds strewn on the rocky soil. 22 And you know people who hear the word, but it is choked inside them because they constantly worry and prefer the wealth and pleasures of the world: they prefer drunken dinner parties to prayer, power to piety, and riches to righteousness. Those people are like the seeds sown among thorns. 23 The people who hear the word and receive it and grow in it—those are like the seeds sown on good soil. They produce a bumper crop, 30 or 60 or 100 times what was sown.

Our Father in heaven plants many seeds in order to ensure that some seeds bear fruit. The final harvest, however, is worth any amount of hard work.

24 Jesus told them another parable.

Jesus: The kingdom of heaven is like this: Once there was a farmer who sowed good seeds in his field. 25 While the farmer’s workers were sleeping, his enemy crept into the field and sowed weeds among all the wheat seeds. Then he snuck away again. 26 Eventually the crops grew—wheat, but also weeds. 27 So the farmer’s workers said to him, “Sir, why didn’t you sow good seeds in your field? Where did these weeds come from?”

28 “My enemy must have done this,” replied the farmer.

“Should we go pull up all the weeds?” asked his workers.

29 “No,” said the farmer. “It’s too risky. As you pull up the weeds, you would probably pull up some wheat as well. 30 We’ll let them both grow until harvesttime. I will tell the harvesters to collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, and only then to harvest the wheat and bring it to my barn.”

31 Jesus told them another parable.

Jesus: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a sower took and planted in his field. 32 Mustard seeds are minute, tiny—but the seeds grow into trees. Flocks of birds can come and build their nests in the branches.

33 And Jesus told a fourth parable.

Jesus: Imagine a woman preparing a loaf of bread. The kingdom of heaven is like the leaven she folds into her dough. She kneads and kneads until the leaven is worked into all the dough.

Without the leaven, the dough remains flat. But the secret is the almost invisible leaven making her loaves fluff and rise.

34 Jesus gave all these teachings to the crowd in parables. Indeed, He spoke only in parables 35 in fulfillment of the prophetic words of the psalms:

I will open My mouth in parables;
    I will tell them things that have been hidden and obscure since the very beginning of the world.[c]

36 Then Jesus left the crowds and returned to His house. His disciples followed Him.

Disciples: Explain to us the story You told about the weeds.

Jesus: 37 The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world; the good seed represents the children of the Kingdom. The weeds—who do you think the weeds are? They are the children of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who threw the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the workers are God’s heavenly messengers. 40 In the parable, I told you the weeds would be pulled up and burned—well, that is how it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send His messengers out into the world, and they will root out from His kingdom everything that is poisonous, ugly, and malicious, and everyone who does evil. 42 They will throw all that wickedness into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. 43 And the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that is hidden in a field. A crafty man found the treasure buried there and buried it again so no one would know where it was. Thrilled, he went off and sold everything he had, and then he came back and bought the field with the hidden treasure part of the bargain.

45 Or the kingdom of heaven is like a jeweler on the lookout for the finest pearls. 46 When he found a pearl more beautiful and valuable than any jewel he had ever seen, the jeweler sold all he had and bought that pearl, his pearl of great price.

47 Or think of it this way: the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea, a net that caught a world of flickering fish. 48 When the net was full, the fishermen hauled it to shore. They separated the good fish from the bad, placing the good fish in a bucket and throwing out the inedible fish. 49 That is what the end of time will be like. The heavenly messengers will separate the good from the bad, the righteous from the wicked, the repentant from the prideful, the faithful from the hard-hearted. 50 The bad, the wicked, the prideful, and the hard-hearted will be thrown into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

51 Do you understand?

Disciples: Yes, we understand.

Jesus: 52 Every scribe and teacher of the law who has become a student of the ways of the Kingdom is like the head of the household who brings some new things and some old things, both out of the storeroom.

53 With that Jesus finished teaching His parables, and He moved on. 54-56 He came to Nazareth, the town where He had grown up. He taught at the local synagogue, and the people were astonished.

People: Is this our little Jesus? Is this Mary’s son? Is this the carpenter’s son? Is this Jesus, brother of James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Didn’t we just see His sisters yesterday at the market? Where did He learn all this? Whence His power?

57 They were offended by Him—by His teachings, by who He was.

Jesus: Prophets are respected—except in their hometowns and in their own households. There the prophet is dishonored.

58 Jesus didn’t bother to work wondrous miracles there in Nazareth because the people did not believe.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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