4:2 Thus he taught them many things using analogies – to explain his Teachings.
4:3 “Listen! Look, a farmer went out to plant –
4:4 and as he was planting, some seeds fell by the wayside and the birds of the air came and devoured them.
4:5 And some fell on rocky ground without much soil – and immediately they sprouted because they had no soil depth.
4:6 But when the sun came up they were scorched – and because they had no root, they withered away.
4:7 And some fell among the thistles, and the weeds grew up and choked them, and they yielded no crop.
4:8 But other seed fell on good soil – and yielded a crop that sprouted up and grew tall and brought a harvest – some thirty, some sixty and some hundred-fold.”
4:9 Then he added, “One who has ears to hear with should listen.”
4:10 Then when he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the analogy.
4:11 Thus he told them, “To you is given the knowledge of the mystery of the sanctuary of God – but to those who are outside are given everything with analogies –
4:12 so while seeing they may see yet not perceive; and hearing they may hear yet not understand – or else at any point they will become worshipers and their offenses be forgiven."1
4:13 Then he told them, “Don’t you understand this analogy? How then will you understand other analogies?
4:14 The farmer planted the Teachings.
4:15 Those who landed on the wayside from where the Teachings were planted – when they hear, the opposer of God comes immediately and snatches the Teachings that were planted in their hearts.
4:16 Similarly with those who were planted in rocky soil – as soon as they hear the Teachings they receive it with joy.
4:17 Yet they have no root within, so they hold it for awhile – but when affliction or persecution comes for the sake of the Teachings, immediately they fall away.
4:18 Those who are planted among the thistles – they hear the Teachings,
4:19 but the concerns of this world, and the illusion of riches and the lust of other things enter and choke the Teachings and they yield no crop.
4:20 Then there are those planted into good soil – they hear the Teachings and accept them and yield more crops – some thirtyfold, some sixty and some a hundred.”
4:21 Then he said to them, “Should a candle be put under a bushel or under a bed? And not set upon a candlestick?
4:22 Because there is nothing concealed that will not become apparent – nor was anything kept secret that will come out.
4:23 Anyone who has ears to hear with should listen.”
4:24 Then he told them, “Understand clearly what you hear – because the measure you use will be used to measure you – and to you who hear, more will be given.
4:25 "Because one who holds fast – to him more will be given: And one who does not, from him will be taken even what he has.”
4:26 Then he said, “Such is the sanctuary of God – just as a man who plants seed into the soil –
4:27 Whether he goes to sleep at night or rises in the day – the seed sprouts and grows yet he doesn’t know how.
4:28 Because the earth brings forth crops from herself – first the stalk, then the husk and after that the full ear of corn.
4:29 But when the crop is ready, he immediately dispatches the sickle, because the harvest has arrived.”
4:30 Then he said, “What should I compare to the sanctuary of God? With what analogy should I use for comparison?
4:31 It’s like a mustard seed – when it is planted in the soil it is the smallest of seeds in the world;
4:32 But after it is planted it grows up and becomes greatest of all herbs, with shoots and branches that allow the birds of the air to take sanctuary underneath its canopy.”
4:33 With many other analogies he spoke the Teachings to them, according to their ability to hear.
4:34 Yet he only spoke in analogies to them – but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.
4:35 Then the same day, when evening came, he told them, “Let’s travel over to the other side.”
4:36 After they had sent away the crowd, they brought him in a boat and with them were other boats.
4:37 Then a great storm arose, and the wind and waves beat against the boat – filling it up.
4:38 Yet he was at the stern of the boat – asleep on a pillow. They awoke him, saying, “Master, don’t you care that we will die?”
4:39 Then he stood up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace – be still.” And the wind stopped and it became very calm.
4:40 Then he said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Why don’t you have faith?”
4:41 Thus they were very afraid and they said to each other, “What kind of man is this, that even the wind and sea will obey him?”
1. Verse 4:12. Referencing Isaiah:
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, LORD, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast [their leaves: so] the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
(Isaiah 6:1-13 NIV)
Continue to Gospel of Mark Chapter Five