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Mark: 4

The Parable of the Sower  Mk.4.1-9 (Plain of Gennesaret)[ Mk.4.1-9 → ] - Mt.13.1-9, Lk.8.4-8

1ON ANOTHER OCCASION he began to teach by the lake-side. The crowd that gathered round him was so large that he had to get into a boat on the lake, and there he sat, with the whole crowd on the beach right down to the water's edge. 2And he taught them many things by parables.

As he taught he said:

3'Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And it happened that as he sowed, some seed fell along the footpath; and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some seed fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil, and it sprouted quickly because it had no depth of earth; 6but when the sun rose the young corn was scorched, and as it had no proper root it withered away. 7Some seed fell among thistles; but the thistles shot up and choked the corn, and it yielded no crop. 8And some of the seed fell into good soil, where it came up and grew, and bore fruit; and the yield was thirtyfold, sixtyfold, even a hundredfold.'
9He added, 'If you have ears to hear, then hear.'

The Purpose of the Parables  Mk.4.10-12 (Plain of Gennesaret)[ Mk.4.10-12 → ] - Mt.13.10-17, Lk.8.9-10

10When he was alone, the Twelve and others who were round him questioned him about the parables. 11He replied, 'To you the secret of the kingdom of God has been given, but to those who are outside everything comes by way of parables, 12 [ Is.6.9-10. ] so that (as Scripture says) they may look and look, but see nothing; they may hear and hear, but understand nothing; otherwise they might turn to God and be forgiven.'

The Parable of the Sower Explained  Mk.4.13-20[ Mk.4.13-20 → ] - Mt.13.18-23, Lk.8.11-13

13So he said, 'You do not understand this parable? How then are you to understand any parable? 14The sower sows the word. 15Those along the footpath are people in whom the word is sown, but no sooner have they heard it than Satan comes and carries off the word which has been sown in them. 16It is the same with those who receive the seed on rocky ground; as soon as they hear the word, they accept it with joy, 17but it strikes no root in them; they have no staying-power; then, when there is trouble or persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once. 18Others again receive the seed among thistles; they hear the word, 19but worldly cares and the false glamour of wealth and all kinds of evil desire come in and choke the word, and it proves barren. 20And there are those who receive the seed in good soil; they hear the word and welcome it; and they bear fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or a hundredfold.'

A Light under a Bushel  Mk.4.21-25 (Plain of Gennesaret)[ Mk.4.21-25 → ] - Lk.8.16-18

21He said to them, 'Do you bring in the lamp to put it under the meal-tub, or under the bed? Surely it is brought to be set on the lamp-stand? 22For nothing is hidden unless it is to be disclosed, and nothing put under cover unless it is to come into the open. 23If you have ears to hear, then hear.'

24He also said, 'Take note of what you hear; the measure you give is the measure you will receive, 25with something more besides. For the man who has will be given more, and the man who has not will forfeit even what he has.'

The Parable of the Growing Seed  Mk.4.26-29

26He said, 'The kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed on the land; 27he goes to bed at night and gets up in the morning, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he does not know. 28The ground produces a crop by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then full-grown corn in the ear; 29but as soon as the crop is ripe, he sets to work with the sickle, because harvest-time has come.'

The Parable of the Mustard Seed  Mk.4.30-32[ Mk.4.30-32 → ] - Mt.13.31-33, Lk.13.18-21

30He said also, 'How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we describe it? 31It is like the mustard-seed, which is smaller than any seed in the ground at its sowing. 32But once sown, it springs up and grows taller than any other plant, and forms branches so large that the birds can settle in its shade.'

The Use of the Parables  Mk.4.33-34 (Plain of Gennesaret)[ Mk.4.33-34 → ] - Mt.13.34-35

33With many such parables he would give them his message, so far as they were able to receive it. 34He never spoke to them except in parables; but privately to his disciples he explained everything.

The Calming of a Storm  Mk.4.35-41 (Sea of Gennesaret)[ Mk.4.35-41 → ] - Mt.8.23-27, Lk.8.22-25

35THAT DAY, in the evening, he said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.' 36So they left the crowd and took him with them in the boat where he had been sitting; and there were other boats accompanying him. 37A heavy squall came on and the waves broke over the boat until it was all but swamped. 38Now he was in the stern asleep on a cushion; they roused him and said, 'Master, we are sinking! Do you not care?' 39He stood up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Hush! Be still!' The wind dropped and there was a dead calm. 40He said to them, 'Why are you such cowards? Have you no faith even now?' 41They were awestruck and said to one another, 'Who can this be whom even the wind and the sea obey?'


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