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Marcos 4

1 Afterwards Jesus began to teach by the seaside, and a vast multitude of people gathered about him, so that he went on board a boat on the sea, and sat there, while all the people stayed on shore, at the waters edge.

2 Then he began teaching them in parables many things. In his teaching he said to them.

3 "Listen! the Sower once went out to sow,

4 and as he sowed, it happened that some seed fell on the road, and birds came and picked it up;

5 some other seed fell on stony soil, where it had not much earth; and it sprang up quickly because it had no depth of soil,

6 but when the sun rose it was scorched and withered away because it had no root.

7 Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked it, so that it yielded no crop.

8 But some seed fell into good soil and yielded a crop that sprang up and increased, yielding thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.

9 "Any one who has ears to hear," he added, "let him listen to this."

10 When he was alone his followers and the Twelve began asking about the parables.

11 He went on to say to them. "The secret truth concerning the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those outside everything is told in parables,

12 so that, "for all their looking they may not see, and for all their hearing, they may not understand, lest perchance they should turn and be pardoned.

13 "You do not understand this parable," said Jesus. "Then how will you understand the other parables?

14 "What the Sower sows is the Word. There are those on the wayside where the Word is sown.

15 As soon as they hear it, Satan immediately comes and snatches away the Word which has been sown in them.

16 And like the sowing upon stony ground are those who, whenever they hear the Word, at once receive it with joy,

17 but because they have no root in themselves they last for a time; but when suffering or persecution ensues because of the Word, they at once fall away.

18 There are others who are sown among thorns.

19 When they have heard the Word, the anxieties of life and the snares of wealth, and all sorts of other ambitions, come in to choke the Word, so that it proves unfruitful.

20 But those, on the other hand, who were sown on that good soil, are those who listen to the Word, and welcome it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold."

21 He went on to say. "Is the lamp brought in to be put under the bushel or the bed? Is it not rather to be put on the lamp-stand?

22 There is nothing hidden except what is to be disclosed, and nothing concealed except what is to be revealed.

23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."

24 And he said to them. "Take heed what you hear. With what measure you measure it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you.

25 For he who holds, to him will more be given, and he who holds not, from him will be taken even what he holds." "It is with the kingdom of God," he continued, "as if a man should have sown seed in the earth;

27 night and day he sleeps and wakes while the seed is sprouting and growing tall, he knows not how.

28 Of its own accord the earth bears its crops; first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

29 Then as soon as the crop is ready the man has the sickle put in at once, because harvest-time is come.

30 "To what shall we compare the kingdom of God?" he said again. "in what parable shall we set it forth?

31 It is like a mustard-seed, which, when sown in the soil, is the smallest seed in the world;

32 yet when sown shoots up and becomes larger than any plant, sending out such branches that the wild birds build their nests under its shadow."

33 With many such illustrations Jesus used to tell his message to people as far as they were able to receive it;

34 and to them it was his practice never to speak except in parables. But he used to explain everything in private to his disciples.

35 On the evening of that same day Jesus said to them, "Let us go across to the other side."

36 So, leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them just as he was in the boat; and the other boats were with him.

37 But a great gale of wind came up, and the waves were dashing into the boat so that it began to fill.

38 Now he himself was sleeping on the cushion in the stern, so they woke him up, saying, "Master, do you not care if we perish?"

39 And he awoke, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!"

40 The wind fell, and there ensued a great calm. Then he said to them. "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?"

41 Then they were awestruck, and said one to another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey him!"

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