Mark, CHAPTER 4
The Parable of the Sower.
On another occasion he began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”
The Purpose of the Parables.
And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables.
He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables,
‘they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.’”
Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
Parable of the Lamp.
He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
Seed Grows of Itself.
He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”
The Mustard Seed.
He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
The Calming of a Storm at Sea.
On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”