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1That same day Jesus went out of his house and was sitting on the seashore. 2And such great crowds gathered about him that he got into a boat and sat down in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3And he told them many things in figures, and said to them,
“A sower went out to sow, 4and as he was sowing, some of the seed fell by the path and the birds came and ate it up, 5and some fell on rocky ground where there was not much soil and it sprang up at once, because the soil was not deep, 6but when the sun came up it was scorched and withered up, because it had no root. 7And some of it fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it out. 8And some fell on good soil, and yielded some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty-fold. 9Let him who has ears listen!”
10His disciples came up and said to him,
“Why do you speak to them in figures?”
“You are permitted to know the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but they are not. 12For people who have will have more given to them, and will be plentifully supplied, and from people who have nothing even what they have will be taken away. 13This is why I speak to them in figures, because though they look they do not see, and though they listen they do not hear or understand. 14They are a fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy,
“ ‘You will listen and listen, and never understand,
And you will look and look, and never see!
15For this nation’s mind has grown dull,
And they hear faintly with their ears,
And they have shut their eyes,
So as never to see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their minds, and turn back,
And let me cure them!’
16But blessed are your eyes, for they do see, and your ears, for they do hear. 17For I tell you, many prophets and upright men have longed to see what you see, and could not see it, and to hear what you hear, and could not hear it.
18“You must listen closely then to the figure of the sower. 19When anyone hears the teaching of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and robs him of the seed that has been sown in his mind. That is what was sown along the path. 20And what was sown upon the rocky soil means the man who hears the message and at once accepts it joyfully, 21but it takes no real root in him, and lasts only a little while, and when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, he gives it up at once. 22And what was sown among the thorns means the man who listens to the message, and then the worries of the time and the pleasure of being rich choke the message out, and it yields nothing. 23And what was sown in good ground means the man who listens to the message and understands it, and yields one a hundred, and another sixty, and another thirty-fold.”
24Another figure which he used in speaking to them was this:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25but while people were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26And when the wheat came up and ripened, the weeds appeared too. 27And the owner’s slaves came to him and said, ‘Was not the seed good that you sowed in your field, sir? So where did these weeds come from?’ 28He said to them, ‘This is some enemy’s doing.’ And they said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them up?’ 29But he said, ‘No, for in gathering up the weeds you may uproot the wheat. 30Let them both grow together until harvest time, and when we harvest I will direct the reapers to gather up the weeds first and tie them up in bundles to burn, but get the wheat into my barn.’ ”
31Another figure which he used in speaking to them was this:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. 32It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the largest of plants and grows into a tree, so that the wild birds come and roost in its branches.”
33Another figure which he used with them was this:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and buried in a bushel of flour until it had all risen.”
34Jesus said all this to the crowds in figures, and told them nothing except in figures, 35to fulfil what was said by the prophet,
“I will open my mouth in figures,
I will utter things that have been hidden since the creation.”
36Then he left the crowds and went into his house. And his disciples came up to him and said,
“Explain to us the figure of the weeds in the field.”
“The sower who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world. The good seed is the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the wicked. 39The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40So just as the weeds are gathered up and burned, this is what will happen at the close of the age; 41the Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather up out of his kingdom all the causes of sin and the wrongdoers 42and throw them into the blazing furnace; there they will wail and grind their teeth. 43Then the upright will shine out like the sun, in their Father’s kingdom. Let him who has ears listen!
44“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a hoard of money, buried in a field, which a man found, and buried again. And he was overjoyed, and went and sold everything he had and bought the field.
45“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dealer in search of fine pearls. 46He found one costly pearl, and went and sold everything he had, and bought it.
47“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was let down into the sea, and inclosed fish of all kinds. 48When it was full, they dragged it up on the beach, and sat down and sorted the good fish into baskets and threw the bad away. 49That is what will happen at the close of the age. The angels will go out and remove the wicked from among the upright, 50and throw them into the blazing furnace. There they will wail and grind their teeth.
51“Do you understand all this?” They said to him,
52He said to them,
“Then remember that every scribe who has become a disciple of the Kingdom of Heaven must be like a householder who can supply from his storeroom new things as well as old.”
53When Jesus had finished these figures, he left that place, 54and went to his own part of the country. And he taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished, and said,
“Where did he get this wisdom, and the power to do these wonders? 55Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary, and are not his brothers named James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56And do not all his sisters live here among us? Then where did he get all this?”
57And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is treated with honor everywhere except in his native place and at his home.”
58And he did not do many wonders there, because of their want of faith.
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