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Mark 4

The Parable of the Sower

1 And a again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. 2 Then He taught them many things by parables, b and said to them in His teaching: 3 "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 "And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds 1 of the air came and devoured it. 5 "Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 "But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 "And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no 2 crop. 8 "But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred." 9 And He said 3 to them, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

The Purpose of the Parables

10 c But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to d know the 4 mystery of the kingdom of God; but to e those who are outside, all things come in parables,

12 "so that
f 'Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.' " 5

13 And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 g "The sower sows the word. 15 "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble. 18 "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 "and the h cares of this world, i the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, 6 accept it, and bear j fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."

A Lamp Under a Basket

21 k Also He said to them, "Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 l "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 m "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." 24 Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. n With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 o "For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

The Parable of the Seed Growing

26 And He said, p "The kingdom of God is as if a man should 7 scatter seed on the ground, 27 "and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and q grow, he himself does not know how. 28 "For the earth r yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 "But when the grain ripens, immediately s he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 Then He said, t "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 "It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 "but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade."

33 u And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, v He explained all things to His disciples.

Jesus Calms a Storm

35 w On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side." 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, x "Teacher, y do You not care that we are perishing?" 39 Then He arose and z rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, a "Peace, 8 be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? b How 9 is it that you have no faith?" 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"

  1. Cross References
    Matthew 13:1 - 15
    On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.
    Luke 8:4 - 10
    And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable:
  2. Cross References
    Mark 12:38
    Then He said to them in His teaching, "Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces.
  3. Cross References
    Matthew 13:10
    And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?
    Luke 8:9
    Then His disciples asked Him, saying, "What does this parable mean?
  4. Cross References
    Matthew 11:25
    At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.
    1 Corinthians 2:10 - 16
    But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
    2 Corinthians 4:6
    For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
  5. Cross References
    1 Corinthians 5:12
    For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?
    1 Corinthians 5:13
    But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person.
    Colossians 4:5
    Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
    1 Thessalonians 4:12
    That you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
    1 Timothy 3:7
    Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
  6. Cross References
    Isaiah 6:9
    And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep o...
    Isaiah 6:10
    "Make the heart of this people dull, And their ...
    Isaiah 43:8
    Bring out the blind people who have eyes, And t...
    Jeremiah 5:21
    Hear this now, O foolish people, Without unders...
    Ezekiel 12:2
    Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebelli...
    Matthew 13:14
    And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled...
    Luke 8:10
    And He said, "To you it has been given to know ...
    John 12:40
    "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their h...
    Romans 11:8
    Just as it is written: "God has given them a sp...
  7. Cross References
    Matthew 13:18 - 23
    Therefore hear the parable of the sower:
    Luke 8:11 - 15
    Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
  8. Cross References
    Luke 21:34
    But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
  9. Cross References
    Proverbs 23:5
    Will you set your eyes on that which is not? Fo...
    Ecclesiastes 5:13
    There is a severe evil which I have seen under ...
    Luke 18:24
    And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowfu...
    1 Timothy 6:9
    But those who desire to be rich fall into tempt...
    1 Timothy 6:10
    For the love of money is a root of all kinds of...
    1 Timothy 6:17
    Command those who are rich in this present age ...
  10. Cross References
    John 15:2
    Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
    John 15:5
    I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
    Romans 7:4
    Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another - to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
  11. Cross References
    Matthew 5:15
    Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
    Luke 8:16
    No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.
    Luke 11:33
    No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.
  12. Cross References
    Ecclesiastes 12:14
    For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
    Matthew 10:26
    Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
    Matthew 10:27
    Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
    Luke 12:3
    Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
    1 Corinthians 4:5
    Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.
  13. Cross References
    Matthew 11:15
    He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
    Matthew 13:9
    "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"
    Matthew 13:43
    Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun ...
    Mark 4:9
    And He said to them, "He who has ears to hear, ...
    Luke 8:8
    "But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and...
    Luke 14:35
    "It is neither fit for the land nor for the dun...
    Revelation 3:6
    "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spiri...
    Revelation 3:13
    "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spiri...
    Revelation 3:22
    "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spiri...
    Revelation 13:9
    If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
  14. Cross References
    Matthew 7:2
    For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
    Luke 6:38
    "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
    2 Corinthians 9:6
    But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
  15. Cross References
    Matthew 13:12
    For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
    Matthew 25:29
    For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.
    Luke 8:18
    "Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."
    Luke 19:26
    For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
  16. Cross References
    Matthew 13:24 - 30
    Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
    Matthew 13:36 - 43
    Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.
    Luke 8:1
    Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him.
  17. Cross References
    2 Corinthians 3:18
    But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
    2 Peter 3:18
    But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
  18. Cross References
    John 12:24
    Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
  19. Cross References
    Mark 13:30
    Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
    Revelation 14:15
    And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
  20. Cross References
    Matthew 13:31
    Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "...
    Matthew 13:32
    "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; bu...
    Luke 13:18
    Then He said, "What is the kingdom of God like?...
    Luke 13:19
    "It is like a mustard seed, which a man took an...
    Acts 2:41
    Then those who gladly received his word were ba...
    Acts 4:4
    However, many of those who heard the word belie...
    Acts 5:14
    And believers were increasingly added to the Lo...
    Acts 19:20
    So the word of the Lord grew mightily and preva...
  21. Cross References
    Matthew 13:34
    All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them.
    Matthew 13:35
    That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.
    John 16:12
    I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
  22. Cross References
    Luke 24:27
    And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
    Luke 24:45
    And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
  23. Cross References
    Matthew 8:18
    And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side.
    Matthew 8:23 - 27
    Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.
    Luke 8:22
    Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, "Let us cross over to the other side of the lake." And they launched out.
    Luke 8:25
    But He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, "Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!
  24. Cross References
    Matthew 23:8 - 10
    But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.
  25. Cross References
    Psalms 44:23
    Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? Arise! Do not cast us off forever.
  26. Cross References
    Mark 9:25
    When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!
    Luke 4:39
    So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.
  27. Cross References
    Psalms 65:7
    You who still the noise of the seas, The noise ...
    Psalms 89:9
    You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves ...
    Psalms 93:4
    The LORD on high is mightier Than the noise of ...
    Psalms 104:6
    You covered it with the deep as with a garment;...
    Psalms 104:7
    At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your ...
    Matthew 8:26
    But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O yo...
    Luke 8:24
    And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Ma...
  28. Cross References
    Matthew 14:31
    And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
    Matthew 14:32
    And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
    Luke 8:25
    But He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, "Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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