The parable of the sower
(Mk 4:1; Lk 8:4; 10:23; 13:20)
1 That same day Jesus left the house and sat down by the lakeside.
2 As many people gathered around him, he got in a boat. There he sat while the whole crowd stood on the shore,
3 and he spoke to them in parables about many things.
4 Jesus said, “The sower went out to sow and, as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path and the birds came and ate them up.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground where there was little soil, and the seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was not deep.
6 But as soon the sun rose the plants were scorched and withered because they had no roots.
7 Again other seeds fell among thistles; and the thistles grew and choked the plants.
8 Still other seeds fell on good soil and produced a crop; some produced a hundredfold, others sixty and others thirty.
9 If you have ears, then hear!”
10 Then his disciples came to him with the question, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
11 Jesus answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but not to these people. 12 For the one who has, will be given more and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived of even what he has.
13 That is why I speak to them in parables, because they look and do not see; they hear, but they do not listen or understand.
14 In them the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled: Much as you hear, you do not understand; much as you see, you do not perceive.
15 For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears hardly hear and their eyes dare not see. If they were to see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their heart, they would turn back and I would heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears, because they hear.
17 For I tell you that many prophets and upright people would have longed to see the things you see, but they did not, and to hear the things you hear, but they did not hear it.
18 Now listen to the parable of the sower.
19 When a person hears the message of the Kingdom but without taking it to himself, the devil comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed that fell along the footpath.
20 The seed that fell on rocky ground stands for the one who hears the word and accepts it at once with joy.
21 But this fickle and has no roots. No sooner is he harassed or persecuted because of the word, than he gives up.
22 The seed that fell among the thistles is the one who hears the word, but then the worries of this life and the love of money choke the word, and it does not bear fruit.
23 As for the seed that fell on good soil it is the one who hears the word and understands it; this bears fruit and produces a hundred, or sixty, or thirty times more.”
The parable of the weeds
24 Jesus told them another parable, “The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25 While everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and left.
26 When the plants sprouted and produced grain, the weeds also appeared.
27 Then the servants of the owner came to him and said: ‘Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? Where did the weeds come from?’
28 He answered them: ‘This is the work of an enemy.’ They asked him: ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’ 29 He told them: ‘No, when you pull up the weeds, you might uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let them just grow together until harvest; and at harvest time I will say to the workers: Pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them; then gather the wheat into my barn.”
The mustard seed and the yeast
(Mk 4:30; Lk 13:18)
31 Jesus put another parable before them, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, that a man took and sowed in his field.
32 It is smaller than all other seeds, but once it has fully grown, it is bigger than any garden plant; like a tree, the birds come and rest in its branches.”
33 He told them another parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast that a woman took and buried in three measures of flour until the whole mass of dough began to rise.”
34 Jesus taught all this to the crowds by means of parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So what the Prophet had said was fulfilled: I will speak in parables. I will proclaim things kept secret since the beginning of the world.
36 Then he sent the crowds away and went into the house. And his disciples came to him saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 Jesus answered them, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the people of the Kingdom; the weeds are those who follow the evil one. 39 The enemy who sows them is the devil; the harvest is the end of time and the workers are the angels.
40 Just as the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so will it be at the end of time.
41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom all that is scandalous and all who do evil. 42 And these will be thrown in the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, then hear.
The treasure, the pearl and the net
44 The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. The one who finds it buries it again; and so happy is he, that he goes and sells everything he has, in order to buy that field.
45 Again the kingdom of heaven is like a trader who is looking for fine pearls.
46 Once he has found a pearl of exceptional quality, he goes away, sells everything he has and buys it.
47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a big fishing net let down into the sea, in which every kind of fish has been caught.
48 When the net is full, it is dragged ashore. Then they sit down and gather the good fish in buckets, but throw the worthless ones away.
49 That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where they will weep and gnash their teeth.”
51 Jesus asked, “Have you understood all these things?” “Yes,” they answered.
52 So he said to them, “You will see that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple of the Kingdom is like a householder who can produce from his store things both new and old.”
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he left the place.
54 He went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, “Where did he get this wisdom and these special powers?
55 Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary his mother and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers?
56 Aren’t all his sisters living here? How did he get all this?” 57 And so they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family.”
58 And he did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.