Mark 4
Christian Standard Bible Par ▾ 

The Parable of the Sower

1Againa he began to teachb by the sea, and a very large crowd gathered around him. So he got into a boat on the sea and sat down, while the whole crowd was by the sea on the shore. 2He taught them many things in parables,a and in his teachingb he said to them, 3“Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow.a 4As he sowed, some seed fell along the path,a and the birds came and devouredb it. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it grew up quickly,a since the soil wasn’t deep. 6When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.a 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce fruit. 8Still other seed fell on good ground and it grew up, producing fruit that increaseda thirty, sixty, and a hundred times.”b 9Then he said, “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen.”a

Why Jesus Used Parables

10When he was alone, those around him with the Twelvea asked him about the parables.b 11He answered them, “The secreta of the kingdom of Godb has been given to you, but to those outside,c everything comes in parables 12so that

they may indeed look,

and yet not perceive;

they may indeed listen,

and yet not understand;a

otherwise, they might turn back

and be forgiven.a b c

The Parable of the Sower Explained

13Thena he said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable?b How then will you understand all of the parables? 14The sower sowsa the word.b 15Some are like the word sown on the path.a When they hear, immediately Satanb comes and takes away the wordc sown in them.A 16And others are like seed sown on rocky ground. When they hear the word, immediately they receive it with joy.a 17But they have no root; they are short-lived. When distressa or persecution comes because of the word, they immediately fall away.b 18Others are like seed sown among thorns; these are the ones who hear the word, 19but the worriesa of this age,b the deceitfulnessa c of wealth,d and the desirese for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.f 20And those like seed sown on good ground hear the word,a welcome it, and produce fruitb thirty, sixty, and a hundred times what was sown.”

Using Your Light

21Hea also said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed?b Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand?c 22For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed,a and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen.”a 24And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By the measurea you use,b it will be measured to you — and more will be addedc to you. 25For whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”a

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26“The kingdom of Goda is like this,” he said. “A man scatters seed on the ground. 27He sleepsa and risesb nightc and day; the seed sprouts and grows, although he doesn’t know how. 28The soil produces a cropa by itself — first the blade, then the head, and then the full grainb on the head. 29As soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle,a because the harvestb has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30Anda he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God,b or what parablec can we use to describe it? 31It’s like a mustard seeda that, when sown upon the soil, is the smallest of all the seeds on the ground. 32And when sown,a it comes up and grows taller than all the garden plants,b and produces large branches, so that the birds of the skyc can nest in its shade.”

Using Parables

33He was speaking the worda to them with many parablesb like these, as they were able to understand.c 34He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, he explained everything to his own disciples.a

Wind and Waves Obey Jesus

35Ona that day, when evening had come, he told them, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” 36So they left the crowd and took him along since he was in the boat. And other boats were with him. 37A great windstorma arose, and the wavesb were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38He was in the stern, sleepinga on the cushion. So they woke him upb and said to him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die? ”c

39He got up, rebukeda the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence!b Be still! ” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40Then he said to them, “Why are you afraid?a Do you still have no faith? ”

41And they were terrifieda a and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obeyb him! ”c

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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