Chapter 13

On that day, Jesus left the house and sat by the sea. 2Huge crowds came to him, so he got into a boat and sat down, and the crowds stood along the shore. 3He taught them a lot using parables, “Look, a farmer went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some of the seeds fell along the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Others fell in the rocks and didn’t have much room. They grew up quickly because they didn’t go very deep. 6Then the sun rose and burned, and since they didn’t have root, they dried out. 7Others fell in the thorn bushes, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Others fell on the good soil and produced fruit, some a hundred times, some sixty, some thirty. 9Whoever has ears, listen!

10His disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you use parables to teach them?” 11Jesus answered, “Y’all have been given the chance to know the mysteries of Heaven’s Empire, they haven’t been given that chance. 12Whoever has, more will be given to him and he’ll have a lot. Whoever doesn’t have, what he does have will be taken from him. 13This is the reason I teach them using parables: because I see that they don’t see, and I hear that they hear but don’t understand. 14They fulfill Isaiah’s prophesy that says, ‘You all will hear, but you won’t understand. You’ll look, but you won’t see. 15Because the people’s heart is hardened, their ears are hard of hearing, and they shut their eyes. Otherwise they would see with their eyes, they would hear with their ears, they would understand with their hearts, and they would come back so I’ll heal them.’

16“Your eyes are blessed because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17Yes, I tell y’all, many prophets and righteous men wanted to see what you’ve see, but didn’t. And they wanted to hear what y’all hear, but didn’t. 18Now hear the parable of the sowing farmer. 19For anyone who hears the word of the Empire, but doesn’t understand it, evil seizes what’s been planted in his heart. He is the one who fell in the road. 20The person who fell in the rocks is the one who heard the word and right away received it with joy. 21But he has no root, so he lingers for a while, and when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately withers away. 22The one who fell in the thorns hears the word, but the worries of the time and the deception of wealth choke the word, and he becomes fruitless. 23The one who fell on good land is the one who hears the word, understands it, and produces fruit, some a hundred times, some sixty, some thirty.

24Jesus put another parable before them, “Heaven’s Empire is like a man who plants good seed in his field, 25but while everybody slept, his enemy came and planted weeds in the middle of the wheat and left. 26When the wheat grew and made fruit, the weeds appeared, too. 27The owner’s slaves came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then where did all these weeds come from?’ 28The man said to them, ‘An enemy did this!’ So the slaves said, ‘Do you want us to go out and gather all the weeds?’ 29But the farmer said, ‘No. If you go and gather the weeds, you might uproot the wheat at the same time. 30Let them both grow together until the harvest, and at that time, I’ll tell the harvesters to collect the weeds into bundles first and burn them. Then gather the wheat into my granary.’

31He put another parable before them, “Heaven’s Empire is like a mustard seed, which a man plants in his field. 32It’s certainly the smallest of all seeds, but when it’s grown it’s the biggest of all plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds in the sky build nests in its branches.

33Then he told them another parable, “Heaven’s Empire is like yeast, which a woman takes and mixes in with three measures of flour until it’s completely mixed in.

34Jesus told all these parables to the crowds and he never taught without using a parable. 35So the word that was spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled, “I’ll open my mouth and speak parables. I’ll say out loud what’s been hidden since the beginning of the world.”

36He sent the crowds away and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Clarify the parable of the weeds in the field for us.” 37Jesus answered, “The person who plants the good seed is the Son of Man, 38the field is the world, and the good seeds are the sons of the Empire. The weeds are the sons of evil, 39and the enemy who plants them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40Just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it’ll be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send His angels, and they’ll gather from His Empire all the sins and all the evil-doers 42and they’ll throw them in the fiery furnace where there’ll be crying and grinding of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine out like the sun in their Father’s Empire. Whoever has ears, listen!

44“Heaven’s Empire is like a treasure that’s been hidden in a field which a man found and hid. In his joy he goes off and sells everything he has and buys that field.

45“Again, Heaven’s Empire is like a merchant who looks for good pearls. 46When he found an expensive pearl, he went off and sold everything he had and bought it.

47“Again, Heaven’s Empire is like a fishing net that’s been thrown into the sea and gathers all kinds of fish. 48When it’s filled up the fishermen bring it up onto the shore, sit down, and gather the good fish into containers, but they throw out the rotten fish. 49It’ll be just like this at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the evil people from the midst of the righteous 50and throw them out into the fiery furnace. There will be crying and grinding of teeth.

51“Do y’all understand all this?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52Jesus said to them, “So the scholar who has learned about Heaven’s Empire is like the head of the house who brings out the new and old from his treasure.” 53When Jesus finished telling these parables, he left from there.

54Then Jesus came to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue, so that they were amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and these powers? 55Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary his mother? And aren’t Jacob, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? 56Aren’t all his sisters with us? Then, where does he get all this wisdom and these powers?” 57So they rejected him. But Jesus said, “A prophet isn’t dishonored except in his hometown and in his house.” 58He didn’t do many powerful works there because they didn’t believe him.

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