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UST MARK Chapter 4

MARK 4 ©

4Another time Jesus began to teach people alongside the Sea of Galilee. As he was teaching, a very large crowd gathered around him. Because the crowd was so big, he got into a boat and pushed out onto the water. The crowd listened to his teaching from the shore of the sea. 2He taught them by using simple stories with a lesson in them. He told them this: 3“Here me now. A man went out to his field to plant some seeds. 4As he was scattering them over the soil, some of the seeds fell on the path. Then some birds came and ate those seeds. 5Other seed fell on ground where there was little soil but lots of rocks. Very soon the seedling appeared through the soil because the soil was not very deep. 6Later that day, after the sun shone on the young plant, it got dried out and withered because the shallow roots could not find water among the rocks in the ground. 7As he sowed, another seed fell on ground that contained roots of thorny plants. The seedling grew, but the thorny plants also grew up and crowded out the good plant. So the plant produced no grain. 8But as he sowed, another seed fell on good soil. As a result, it sprouted, grew large, and then produced plenty of grain. Some of these plants bore 30 times as much as the seed that the man had planted. Some bore 60 times as much. Some bore 100 times as much.” 9Then Jesus said, “Whoever is willing to listen, listen to what I say.”

10Later, when only the Twelve Representatives and other close followers were with him, they asked him about the parables. 11He said to them, “To you I have explained the message about how God reveals himself as king, but to the others I have spoken in parables.

12When they see what I am doing, they will not learn why I do it.

When they hear what I say, they will not understand what it means.

This is so that they may not repent,

and God may not forgive them.”

13Jesus also said to his apprentices, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand when I teach you other parables? 14In the parable that I told you, the man who sows seeds represents someone who teaches God’s message to others. 15Some people are like the instance when the seeds fell along the path. When they hear God’s message, Satan comes at once and causes them to forget what they have heard. 16Some people are like the seed which the farmer sows upon the rocky soil. When they hear God’s message, they immediately accept it with joy. 17But, they did not have their own strong roots, and they lack the ability to endure. Because of this, when people cause them to suffer because of the message of God, they quickly stop believing. 18Some people are like the soil that has thorny weeds in it. Those people hear God’s message 19but only care about earthly things and becoming rich, and they forget God’s message. These things, filling the person’s life, choke the message which they received, and the person becomes unable to bear fruit. 20But some people are like the seed that was sown on the good soil. They hear God’s message, and they accept it, and they believe it, and they do the things that God wants them to do. They are like the good plants that produced 30, 60, or 100 grains.”

21He told the apprentices another parable: “People certainly do not light an oil lamp and then bring it in the house in order to put something over it to cover its light. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so that the light will shine. 22Similarly, things that were hidden—one day everyone will know them—and the things that have happened in secret—one day everyone will see them in full light. 23If you want to understand this, you should consider carefully what you have just heard.”

24“Consider carefully what you hear me say to you, for God will let you understand to the same degree that you consider what I say. He will let you understand even more than that. 25For if a person has some understanding, he will receive even more. But if a person does not have understanding, even what little he has, he will lose.”

26Jesus also said, “When God begins to show himself as king, it is like a man who has scattered seed on the ground. 27Afterwards he slept each night and rose up each day without worrying about the seeds. During that time the seeds sprouted and grew in a way that he did not understand. 28The ground produced the crop on its own. First the stalks appeared. Then the heads appeared. Then the full kernels in the heads appeared. 29As soon as the grain was ripe, he sent people to harvest it, because it was time to harvest the grain.”

30Jesus told them another story with a lesson. He said, “When God begins to show himself as king, what is it like? What word picture can I use to describe it? 31It is like mustard seeds, which are the smallest seeds that are planted in the ground, smaller than any other seed upon the earth. 32After they are planted, they grow up and become larger than the other garden plants. They put out big branches so that birds are able to make nests in their shade.”

33Jesus used many parables when he talked to the people about God’s message. He told them as much as they were able to understand. 34He always used stories with lessons when he spoke to them. But he explained all the parables to his own apprentices when he was alone with them.

35On that same day, when the sun was setting, Jesus said to his apprentices, “Let us cross over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.” 36Jesus was already in the boat, so they left the crowd of people and sailed away. Other people also went along with them in their boats. 37A strong wind came up and the waves started coming into the boat! The boat was in danger of being filled with water 38Jesus was in the back part of the boat. He was sleeping with his head on a cushion. So the apprentices woke him up and said to him, “Teacher! Are you not concerned that we are about to die?” 39So Jesus got up and rebuked the wind, and he spoke to the lake, “Be quiet! Be still!” The wind stopped blowing, and then the Sea of Galilee became very calm. 40He said to the apprentices, “Why are you afraid? Do you not yet believe that I can protect you?” 41They were terrified. They said to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

MARK 4 ©