Bible: Mark 4:1-20

The Parable of the Sower

4:1 Again he began to teach by the lake. Such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there while 1  the whole crowd was on the shore by the lake. 4:2 He taught them many things in parables, 2  and in his teaching said to them: 4:3 Listen! A sower went out to sow. 3  4:4 And as he sowed, some seed 4  fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 4:5 Other seed fell on rocky ground 5  where it did not have much soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. 6  4:6 When the sun came up it was scorched, and because it did not have sufficient root, 7  it withered. 4:7 Other seed fell among the thorns, 8  and they grew up and choked it, 9  and it did not produce grain. 4:8 But 10  other seed fell on good soil and produced grain, sprouting and growing; some yielded thirty times as much, some sixty, and some a hundred times.” 4:9 And he said, “Whoever has ears to hear had better listen! 11 

The Purpose of Parables

4:10 When he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 4:11 He said to them, “The secret 12  of the kingdom of God has been given 13  to you. But to those outside, everything is in parables,

4:12 so that although they look they may look but not see,

and although they hear they may hear but not understand,

so they may not repent and be forgiven.” 14 

4:13 He said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? Then 15  how will you understand any parable? 4:14 The sower sows the word. 4:15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: Whenever they hear, immediately Satan 16  comes and snatches the word 17  that was sown in them. 4:16 These are the ones sown on rocky ground: As soon as they hear the word, they receive it with joy. 4:17 But 18  they have no root in themselves and do not endure. 19  Then, when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately they fall away. 4:18 Others are the ones sown among thorns: They are those who hear the word, 4:19 but 20  worldly cares, the seductiveness of wealth, 21  and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, 22  and it produces nothing. 4:20 But 23  these are the ones sown on good soil: They hear the word and receive it and bear fruit, one thirty times as much, one sixty, and one a hundred.”

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