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Matthew 13

13
The Story of the Farmer Scattering Seed
1That same day Jesus left the house and sat by the Sea of Galilee. 2The crowds that gathered around him were so large that he got into a boat and sat down to teach, while all the people stood on the shore to listen. 3Then he taught them many things by telling them stories. He said, “A farmer went out to plant his seed. 4As he scattered it, some fell on a path and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some seed fell in rocky places where there wasn’t much soil. Those plants came up quickly because the soil wasn’t very deep. 6But when the sun got hot, it burned the plants and they dried up, because they had no roots. 7Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and crowded out the plants. 8But still other seed fell on good soil and produced a crop that was 100, 60, or 30 times more than what was planted. 9Whoever understands should take this to heart.”
10The disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Why do you tell stories when you speak to the people?”
11He answered, “Because they aren’t being given the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven the way you are. 12Whoever has this kind of knowledge will be given more, until they have a great deal of it. But if anyone lacks this kind of knowledge, even what little they have will be taken away from them. 13I tell stories when I speak to the people so that:
“They’ll look, but they won’t see.
They’ll listen, but they won’t hear or understand.
14These people are making the words of the prophet Isaiah come true.
“ ‘You’ll hear but never understand,
you’ll see but never know what you’re seeing.
15The hearts of these people have become stubborn.
They can barely hear with their ears
and they’ve closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts.
Then they might turn to the Lord, and he would heal them.’
16But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and blessed are your ears, because they hear. 17Truly I tell you, many prophets and godly people wanted to see what you’re seeing, but they didn’t see it, and they wanted to hear what you’re hearing, but they didn’t hear it.
18“Listen! Here’s what the story about the farmer means. 19When people hear the message about the kingdom, but they don’t understand it, the evil one comes and steals what was planted in their hearts. Those people are like the seed that landed on the path. 20The seed that fell on rocky places stands for other people who hear the message and receive it right away with joy. 21But because they have no roots, they last only a short time. When trouble or suffering comes because of the message, they quickly fall away from the faith. 22The seed that fell among the thorns stands for those who hear the message but then have it crowded out by the worries of this life and the false promises of wealth, which keep it from producing fruit. 23But the seed that fell on good soil stands for those who hear the message and understand what it means. They produce a crop that’s 100, 60, or 30 times more than what was planted.”
The Story of the Weeds
24Jesus told the crowd another story. He said, “Here’s what the kingdom of heaven is like. A man planted good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came, planted weeds among the wheat, and then slipped away. 26The wheat began to grow and form grain, but at the same time, weeds appeared.
27“The owner’s slaves came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then where did these weeds come from?’
28“ ‘An enemy must have done it,’ he replied.
“The slaves asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’
29“ ‘No,’ the owner answered, ‘because while you’re pulling up the weeds, you might pull up the wheat too. Let them both grow together until the harvest. 30Then I’ll tell the workers, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned. Then gather the wheat and put it in my barn.” ’ ”
The Stories of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
31Jesus told the crowd another story. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in a field. 32It’s the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows, it becomes the largest of all garden plants. It turns into a tree, and birds come and rest in its branches.”
33Jesus told them one more story. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast,” he said. “A woman mixed it into 60 pounds of flour, and the yeast worked its way through all of that dough.”
34Jesus taught the crowd all these things by telling stories. He didn’t say anything to them without using a story. 35So the words spoken by the prophet came true:
“I will open my mouth and tell stories.
I’ll speak about things that have been hidden since the world was created.”
Jesus Explains the Story of the Weeds
36Then Jesus left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and asked, “Please explain the story of the weeds in the field to us.”
37He replied, “The one who planted the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people who belong to the kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one, 39and the enemy who plants them is the devil. The harvest is the judgment day and the workers are angels.
40“The weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire. That’s how it will be on judgment day. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and everyone who does wrong. 42They’ll throw them into the blazing furnace, where people will weep and grind their teeth. 43Then God’s people will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Whoever understands should take this to heart.
The Stories of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure that was hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then he went and gladly sold everything he had to buy that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who was looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one that was very valuable, he went away and sold everything he had so he could buy that pearl.
The Story of the Net
47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake. It caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up onto the shore. Then they sat down and gathered the good fish into baskets, but they threw the bad fish away. 49That’s how it will be on judgment day. The angels will come and separate the people who did wrong from those who did right. 50They will throw the bad people into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and grind their teeth.
51“Do you understand all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
52He said to them, “Every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings new treasures out of his storeroom along with the old ones.”
A Prophet Without Honor
53When Jesus had finished telling these stories, he moved on from there. 54He came to his hometown of Nazareth and began teaching the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and they asked, “Where did this man get so much wisdom? Where did he get the power to do miracles? 55Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? 56Aren’t all his sisters with us too? Then where did this man get all these things?” 57And they couldn’t believe in Jesus because they were stuck on these questions.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own town and in his own home.”
58He didn’t do many miracles in Nazareth because the people there had so little faith.

Matthew 13

13
Jesus told a story about some rubbish plants
24Then Jesus told the people another picture story. He said, “This story shows you something about God’s family.
A farmer planted some good food seeds in his garden. 25But there was a bad man that didn’t like that farmer. One night, when everyone was asleep, that bad man went to the farmer’s garden and planted some rubbish plant seeds in it, beside the good seeds. Then that bad man went away.
26The good seeds grew into good plants, but at the same time the rubbish plants started to grow there too. Those rubbish plants look like the good plants when they are young, but when they get big we can’t eat their seeds. They are too cheeky.
27So the farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Boss, you planted good food seeds in that ground. How come a lot of rubbish plants are growing there too?’
28The farmer said, ‘I reckon there is a bad man that doesn’t like me, and he planted those rubbish plants.’
The workers said, ‘Do you want us to go and pull up those rubbish plants?’
29The farmer said, ‘No, don’t do that. Those plants are all mixed together, so if you pull up the rubbish plants, then you will pull up some of the good food plants with them. 30No. Just let them all grow up, the good plants and the rubbish plants together. Later, when the right time comes, I will get some men to get the good seed food. But I will talk to them before they do that job. I will tell them to cut down the rubbish plants first, and take them away, and burn them. After that, they will get all the good seed food and bring it into my shed.’ ”
(We have not yet translated 13:31-35. You can read some of those stories and messages in Mark 4:30-32.)
Jesus told his followers what the story about the rubbish plants means
36Then Jesus went into a house, away from all the people. And his followers went to him and said, “Please tell us what that story means, that picture story about the rubbish plants and the garden.”
37Jesus said to them, “I’m God’s special man from heaven, and I’m like the farmer in that story. I’m like the man that planted good food seeds in a garden. 38That garden is like the world. The good food seeds are like the people that belong to God. The rubbish plant seeds are like the people that belong to the devil, the boss over the bad spirits. 39The bad man that planted those rubbish seeds in the garden is like the devil. The time to get all the good seed food is like the time for the end of the world. The workers that cut down the plants are like God’s angel messengers.
40And in the story the workers cut down the rubbish plants and burned them in the fire. That is a picture of what will happen at end of the world. 41You see, I’m God’s special man from heaven, and at the end of the world, I will send out God’s angel messengers. They will get the people that belong to the devil. They will get all the people that don’t belong in God’s family. Those people are the ones that break God’s law, and they make other people do bad things. 42The angels will chuck all those bad people into a big fire. Those people will cry, and they will be so angry that they will bite their teeth together. 43But at that time God will show everyone that the good people are really great. It will be like they are shiny, like the sun. And they will be in the family of God, their father.”
Then Jesus said, “You’ve got ears, so you have to listen to me properly, and take notice of my words.”
Jesus told 2 stories to show us that God’s family is very good
44Jesus told his followers another picture story. He said, “This story shows you more about God’s family.
A man buried a lot of gold in the ground, to hide it. Some time later, another man found that gold, but he didn’t own the land, so he couldn’t get it for himself. So he buried it again. Then he went away, and he sold everything that he owned, to get some money. Then he bought that land. After that, he got all that gold for himself, and he was really happy. Well, if you find out how to get into God’s family, it is like you find a lot of gold.”
45Jesus talked some more. He said, “This is another picture story that shows you about God’s family. There was a man that used to buy things, and then take them to another place and sell them again at a higher price. That was his job. One day, he was looking for beautiful pearls to buy. 46He found a really good and beautiful pearl, but its price was very high. So he sold everything that he owned, to get enough money for it. Then he bought that very good pearl. Well, if you find out how to get into God’s family, it is like you find a very good pearl.”
Jesus told a story about a fishing net, to show more about God’s family
47Then Jesus said, “This is another picture story that shows you about God’s family. Some fishermen threw their fishing net into the water and caught a lot of fish in it. There were all sorts of fish in that net. 48Then they dragged it up on to the land, and sat down, and sorted out the fish. They put the good fish into baskets to keep them, and they chucked the bad fish away. 49-50That’s what it will be like when God will finish up this world. His angel workers will come and sort everybody out. They will save good people, and they will chuck the bad people into a big fire. Those people will cry a lot, and they will be so angry that they will bite their teeth together.”
Teachers in God’s family use both new and old messages from God
51Then Jesus asked his followers, “Do you understand all these things?”
They said, “Yes, we do.”
52Then Jesus said, “Every teacher of our Jewish law that joins God’s family will teach new messages from God as well as old messages. Every teacher of God’s word is like a man that owns a big house. That man has a store-room in that house, where he keeps his very special things. Sometimes he brings those things out to show to his friends. He shows them new things, as well as old things.”
(We have not yet translated 13:53—17:23. You can read those stories and messages in Mark 6:1—9:32.)