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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.
13
1 THAT SAME day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting beside the sea.
2 But such great crowds gathered about Him that He got into a boat and remained sitting there, while all the throng stood on the shore.
3 And He told them many things in parables (stories by way of illustration and comparison), saying, A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil; and at once they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they dried up and withered away.
7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them out.
8 Other seeds fell on good soil, and yielded grain–some a hundred times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some thirty.
9 He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing.
10 Then the disciples came to Him and said, Why do You speak to them in parables?
11 And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12 For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will be furnished richly so that he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
13 This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because having the power of seeing, they do not see; and having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand.
14 In them indeed is the process of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive.
15 For this nation's heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them. [Isa. 6:9, 10.]
16 But blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear.
17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men [men who were upright and in right standing with God] yearned to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
18 Listen then to the [meaning of the] parable of the sower:
19 While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside.
20 As for what was sown on thin (rocky) soil, this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts it with joy;
21 Yet it has no real root in him, but is temporary (inconstant, lasts but a little while); and when affliction or trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble [he is repelled and begins to distrust and desert Him Whom he ought to trust and obey] and he falls away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit.
23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it; he indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty.
24 Another parable He set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25 But while he was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed also darnel (weeds resembling wheat) among the wheat, and went on his way.
26 So when the plants sprouted and formed grain, the darnel (weeds) appeared also.
27 And the servants of the owner came to him and said, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then how does it have darnel shoots in it?
28 He replied to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and weed them out?
29 But he said, No, lest in gathering the wild wheat (weeds resembling wheat), you root up the [true] wheat along with it.
30 Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the reapers, Gather the darnel first and bind it in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my granary.
31 Another story by way of comparison He set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field.
32 Of all the seeds it is the smallest, but when it has grown it is the largest of the garden herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and find shelter in its branches.
33 He told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like leaven (sour dough) which a woman took and covered over in three measures of meal or flour till all of it was leavened. [Gen. 18:6.]
34 These things all taken together Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, without a parable He said nothing to them.
35 This was in fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet: I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world. [Ps. 78:2.]
36 Then He left the throngs and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him saying, Explain to us the parable of the darnel in the field.
37 He answered, He Who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
38 The field is the world, and the good seed means the children of the kingdom; the darnel is the children of the evil one,
39 And the enemy who sowed it is the devil. The harvest is the close and consummation of the age, and the reapers are angels.
40 Just as the darnel (weeds resembling wheat) is gathered and burned with fire, so it will be at the close of the age.
41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of offense [persons by whom others are drawn into error or sin] and all who do iniquity and act wickedly,
42 And will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.
43 Then will the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let him who has ears [to hear] be listening, and let him consider and perceive and understand by hearing. [Dan. 12:3.]
44 The kingdom of heaven is like something precious buried in a field, which a man found and hid again; then in his joy he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.
45 Again the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a dealer in search of fine and precious pearls,
46 Who, on finding a single pearl of great price, went and sold all he had and bought it.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet which was cast into the sea and gathered in fish of every sort.
48 When it was full, men dragged it up on the beach, and sat down and sorted out the good fish into baskets, but the worthless ones they threw away.
49 So it will be at the close and consummation of the age. The angels will go forth and separate the wicked from the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God)
50 And cast them [the wicked] into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.
51 Have you understood all these things [parables] taken together? They said to Him, Yes, Lord.
52 He said to them, Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar].
53 When Jesus had finished these parables (these comparisons), He left there.
54 And coming to His own country [Nazareth], He taught in their synagogue so that they were amazed with bewildered wonder, and said, Where did this Man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?
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 do not all His sisters live here among us? Where then did this Man get all this?
57 And they took offense at Him [they were repelled and hindered from acknowledging His authority, and caused to stumble]. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.
58 And He did not do many works of power there, because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in the divine mission of Jesus).