Mark 4

1Another time Jesus began teaching by the lake. Many, many people gathered around Jesus. So Jesus got into a boat and went out on the lake. All the people stayed on the shore next to the water. 2Jesus taught the people from the boat. Jesus used many stories to teach them. He said, 3”Listen! A farmer went out to plant his seed. 4While the farmer was planting, some seed fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. 5Some seed fell on rocky ground. The ground there did not have enough dirt. The seed grew very fast there because the ground was not deep. 6But the sun rose and the plants were burned. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. 7Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. So those plants did not make grain. 8Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed began to grow. It grew and made grain. Some plants had 30 grains, other plants had 60 grains, and some had 100 grains.” 9Then Jesus said, “You people that hear me, listen!” 10Later, Jesus was away from the people. The twelve apostles and Jesus’ other followers asked him about the stories. 11Jesus said, “Only you can know the secret truth about the kingdom of God. But to those other people I tell everything by using stories. 12I do this so that: 'They will look and look, but never really see; they will listen and listen, but never understand. If they saw and understood, they might change and be forgiven.’” 13Then Jesus said to the followers, “Do you understand this story? If you don’t, then how will you understand any story? 14The farmer is like a person that plants God’s teaching in people. 15Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. This is like some people. Those people hear the teaching of God. But Satan ˻(the devil)˼ comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them. 16Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching and quickly and gladly accept it. 17But those people don’t allow the teaching to go deep into their lives. They keep that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they quickly quit. 18Other people are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. These people hear the teaching. 19But then these things come into their lives: the worries of this life, the love of money, and wanting all kinds of other things. These things stop the teaching from growing. So that teaching does not make fruit ˻in the lives of those people˼. 20Other people are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and make fruit—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more.” 21Then Jesus said to them, “Do you take a lamp and hide it under a bowl or under a bed? No! You put the lamp on a lamp table. 22Everything that is hidden will be made clear. Every secret thing will be made known. 23You people that hear me, listen! 24”Think carefully about the things you hear. The way you give is the way God will give to you. But God will give you more than you give. 25The person that has ˻something˼ will receive more. But the person that does not have ˻much˼ will lose even the little amount he has.” 26Then Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a man that plants seed in the ground. 27The seed begins to grow. It grows night and day. It is not important if the man is sleeping or awake; the seed still grows. The man does not know how the seed grows. 28Without any help, the ground grows grain. First the plant grows, then the head, and then all the grain in the head. 29When the grain is ready, the man cuts it. This is the harvest time.” 30Then Jesus said, “What can I use to show you what the kingdom of God is like? What story can I use to explain it? 31The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. The mustard seed is the smallest seed that you plant in the ground. 32But when you plant this seed, it grows and becomes the largest of all the plants in your garden. It has branches that are very big. The wild birds can come and make nests there and be protected from the sun.” 33Jesus used many stories like these to teach them. He taught them all that they could understand. 34Jesus always used stories to teach the people. But when Jesus and his followers were alone together, Jesus explained everything to them. 35That day, at evening, Jesus said to his followers, “Come with me across the lake.” 36Jesus and the followers left the people there. They went in the same boat that Jesus was already sitting in. There were also other boats with them. 37A very bad wind came on the lake. The waves were coming over the sides and into the boat. The boat was almost full of water. 38Jesus was inside the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The followers went to him and woke him. They said, “Teacher, do you care about us? We will drown!” 39Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and the waves to stop. Jesus said, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped and the lake became calm. 40Jesus said to his followers, “Why are you afraid? You still have no faith?” 41The followers were very afraid and asked each other, “What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the water obey him!”

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