On that day Jesus went forth out of the house and sat beside the sea; 2 and great multitudes were gathered to Him, so that He, entering a boat, sat down; and all the multitude had taken their stand on the beach. 3 And He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went forth to sow; 4 and, in his sowing, some seeds fell along the way, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 And others fell upon the rocky ground, where they had not much earth, and immediately they sprang up on account of their not having any depth of soil; 6 and, when the sun had arisen, they were scorched; and on account of not having root, they withered. 7 And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. 8 And still others fell upon the good soil and kept bearing fruitsome one hundred, some sixty, and some thirtyfold. 9 The one who has ears, let him listen.
10 And the disciples came up to Him and said, Why art Thou speaking in parables to them? 11 And replying, He said, Because to you it has been granted to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For to whoever has, it shall be given, and he shall have more in abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 Therefore I am speaking to them in parables, because, though they keep on seeing, they never see, and, though they keep on hearing, they never hear, or understand. 14 The prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled in them, which declares:
By hearing you will hear,
But by no means will understand;
And, seeing repeatedly, you will see,
But will by no means perceive.
15 For the heart of this people has grown fat,
And they hear with their ears with difficulty,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest perchance they might see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And should turn again,
And I should heal them.¹
16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. 17 For in solemn truth I am saying to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you are seeing, but did not see, and to hear what you are hearing, but did not hear.
¹ Isaiah 6:9,10. For a freer, but very helpful, translation of these verses, see The New Testament, translated by Edgar J. Goodspeed.
18 Now listen attentively to the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, but does not understand, the evil one comes and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart; the same is the one sown along the wayside. 20 And the one sown on the rock, this one is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 but he does not have root in himself, but is short-lived, so that, when tribulation and persecution arise on account of the word, immediately he is caused to stumble. 22 The one that is sown among the thorns, the same is the one who hears the word, and the cares of the age and the deceitfulness of riches choke out the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But the one sown upon good ground, the same is the one who hears the word and understands, who indeed bears fruit and yieldssome one hundred, some sixty, and some thirtyfold.
24 Another parable he set forth before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while men slept, an enemy of his came and sowed tares among the wheat and went away. 26 But when the stalk grew up and bore fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 Then the servants of the householder said to him, Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Whence then has it tares? 28 And he said to them, A hostile man has done this. But the servants say to him, Do you desire therefore, that we should go and gather these? 29 And he said, No, lest perhaps in gathering the tares, you root up at the same time the wheat. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the season of the harvest I shall say to the reapers, Gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles in order to burn them, but the wheat gather into my granary.
31 Another parable He set before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a seed of mustard which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 and which is less than all of the seeds; but, when it grew up, it was greater than the garden herbs and became a tree, so that the birds of the heaven came and roosted in its branches.
33 Another parable He spoke to them, The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.
34 All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes, and apart from a parable He was speaking nothing to them, 35 in order that the word might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
I shall open my mouth in parables;
I shall utter things hidden since creation.²
36 Then leaving the multitudes, He went into the house, and His disciples came to Him, saying, Explain thoroughly to us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 And replying, He said, The one sowing the good seed is the Son of man; 38 the field is the world; the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; but the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed these is the devil; and the harvest is the consummation of the age; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As, therefore, the tares are gathered together and are burned in fire, thus shall it be in the consummation of the age. 41 The Son of man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that are causes of stumbling and those who practice lawlessness; 42 and they will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears, let him hear.
² Psalm 78:2, not a literal translation. Jesus gave something in addition.
44 The kingdom of heaven is like to a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid, and out of his joy he went and sold all which he had and purchased that field.
45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking good pearls; 46 and, having found one especially valuable pearl, he went away, sold all things whatsoever he had, and purchased it.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet, thrown into the sea and enclosing fish of every sort, 48 which, when it was full, they hauled up on the beach; and, having sat down, they gathered the good into vessels, but the bad they threw away. 49 In like manner will it be in the consummation of the age. The angels will go forth, and separate the evil from among the righteous, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 Do you understand all these things? They said to Him, Yes. 52 And He said to them, Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a man, a householder, who brings forth continually out of his treasure things both new and old.
53 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from that place.
54 And coming into His own country, He was teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were amazed and said, Whence does this man have this wisdom and the powers? 55 Is He not the son of the carpenter? Is not His mother named Mary and His brothers, James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Whence, therefore, does He have all these things? 57 And they took offense at Him. And Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor, except in his own locality and in his house. 58 And there He did not perform many powers because of their unbelief.