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Marcos 4

1 Again he taught a very great crowd by the seaside. He sat in a boat while the crowd was on the land.

2 He taught them many things by illustrations and said to them:

3 »Listen, the sower went out to sow.

4 »As he sowed some seed fell by the road and the birds came and devoured it.

5 »Other seed fell on the rocky ground and did not have good soil. Immediately it sprang up, because it had no good soil

6 it became scorched when the sun came up. Then it withered because it had no root.

7 »Some seed fell among the thorns. The thorns grew up and choked it so it could yield no fruit.

8 »Others fell on good ground and yielded fruit. It grew up, increased and produced thirty fold, and sixty fold, and a hundred fold.«

9 He continued: »He who has ears to hear let him hear.«

10 When he was alone his followers including the twelve asked about the illustrations.

11 He told them: »The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you. Illustrations are spoken to outsiders.

12 »So that seeing they may see and not perceive. And hearing they may hear and not understand. Otherwise they might repent and be forgiven.«

13 Then he asked: »Do you not understand this illustration? How will you understand any of the illustrations?

14 »The sower sows the word.

15 »These are they by the wayside where the word is sown. When they have heard; Satan comes and takes away the word that has been sown in them.

16 »The same is so of the word sown upon the rocky places. When they have heard the word and receive it with joy,

17 they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while. They stumble when tribulation or persecution arise.

18 »There is the word sown among the thorns. These have heard the word,

19 but the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts for other things enter in and choke the word. So it becomes unfruitful.

20 »Those who represent that sown upon the good soil hear the word and accept it. They bear fruit, thirty fold, and sixty fold, and a hundred fold.«

21 He asked them: »Is the lamp placed under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on the stand?

22 »There is nothing hidden unless it should be made known. Nothing is made secret that should come to light.

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

24 Then he said: »Be careful what you listen to. That which is portioned out by you might be portioned to you and more.

25 »He who has, to him it will be given. He who has not, from him will be taken even that which he has.«

26 He added: »The kingdom of God is like this. A man plants seed in the earth.

27 »He sleeps and gets up night and day until the plants grow though he has no idea how.

28 »The earth gives fruit by itself. First comes the leaf, then the head, then full grain.

29 »When the grain is ready he immediately sends men to cut it, because the time for cutting has come.«

30 He said: »What illustration should we use to picture the kingdom of God? What story will make it clear?

31 »It is like a grain of mustard seed. When it is planted in the earth it is smaller than all the seeds on the earth.

32 »But when it is planted it grows and becomes taller than all the plants. It grows out great branches so that the birds of heaven are able to take rest in its shade.«

33 He spoke the word to them with many illustrations as long as they were able to listen.

34 He spoke only with illustrations. However he made all things clear to his disciples in private.

35 When evening arrived Jesus said: Let us go over to the other side.«

36 They took him with them on the boat and left the people. Other boats were with him also.

37 A great windstorm came up and the waves came into the boat.

38 He was in back of the boat sleeping on a cushion. They woke him. They said: »Master is it nothing to you that we are in danger of destruction?«

39 He awoke from sleep and commanded the wind and sea. He commanded the sea to be at peace and rest. And he commanded the wind to go down and there was a great calm.

40 He said: »Why are you full of fear? Do you have no faith?«

41 Their fear was great. They said to themselves: »Who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey his orders?«

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