Marcos 4

1 Then Jesus began to teach again beside the sea. Such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while the entire crowd remained beside the sea on the shore.

2 He began teaching them many things in parables. While he was teaching them he said,

3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow.

4 As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and birds came and ate them up.

5 Others fell on stony ground, where they did not have a lot of soil. They sprouted at once because the soil wasn't deep.

6 But when the sun came up, they were scorched. Since they did not have any roots, they dried up.

7 Others fell among thornbushes, and the thornbushes came up and choked them, and they did not produce anything.

8 But others fell on good soil and produced a crop. They grew up, increased in size, and produced thirty, sixty, or one hundred times what was sown.”

9 He added,“Let the person who has ears to hear, listen!”

10 When he was alone with his followers and the twelve, they began to ask him about the parables.

11 He said to them,“The secret about the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside, everything comes in parables

12 sothat‘they may see clearly but not perceive,and they may hear clearly but not understand,otherwise they might turn around and be forgiven.’”

13 Then he said to them,“You don't understand this parable, so how can you understand any of the parables?

14 The sower sows the word.

15 Some people are like the seedsalong the path, where the word is sown. When they hear it, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.

16 Others are like the seedssown on the stony ground. When they hear the word, they accept it at once with joy,

17 but since they don't have any roots in themselves, they last for only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes along because of the word, they immediately fall away.

18 Still others are like the seedssown among the thornbushes. These are the people who hear the word,

19 but the worries of life, the deceitful pleasures of wealth, and the desires for other things come in and choke the word so that it can't produce a crop.

20 Others are like the seedssown on good soil. They hear the word, accept it, and produce crops—thirty, sixty, or one hundred times what was sown.”

21 Then Jesus said to them,“A lamp isn't brought indoors to be put under a basket or under a bed, is it? It's to be put on a lampstand, isn't it?

22 For nothing is hidden except for the purpose of having it revealed, and nothing is secret except for the purpose of having it come to light.

23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!”

24 He went on to say to them,“Pay attention to what you're listening to! With the measure you use,you will be measured, and still more will be given to you.

25 For whoever has something, will have more given to him. But whoever has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.”

26 He was also saying,“The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seeds on the ground.

27 He sleeps and gets up night and day while the seeds sprout and grow, although he doesn't know how.

28 The ground produces grain by itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.

29 But when the grain is ripe, he swings his sickle immediately because the harvest time has come.”

30 He was also saying,“How can we show what the kingdom of God is like, or what parable can we use to describe it?

31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. Although it is the smallest ofall the seeds on earth,

32 when it is planted it comes up and becomes larger than all the garden plants. It grows such large branches that the birds in the sky can nest in its shade.”

33 With many other parables like these Jesus kept speaking the word to them according to their ability to understand them.

34 He did not tell them anything without using a parable, though he explained everything to his disciples in private.

35 That day, when evening had come, he said to them,“Let's cross to the other side.”

36 So they left the crowd and took him along in the boat just as he was. Other boats were with him.

37 A violent windstorm came up, and the waves began breaking into the boat, so that the boat was rapidly becoming swamped.

38 But Jesus was in the back of the boat, asleep on a cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, don't you care that we're going to die?”

39 Then he got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,“Hush! Be still!” Then the wind stopped blowing, and there was a great calm.

40 He said to them,“Why are you such cowards? Don't you have any faith yet?”

41 They were overcome with fear and kept saying to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”