Matthew 13

1That day Jesus left the house and sat down by the sea side. 2Many people came to where he was. So he got into a boat and sat down. All the people stood on the land by the water. 3He taught the people many things by telling them stories. He said, ‘Listen, a man went out to sow some seed. 4As he sowed it, some of the seed fell on the road. Birds came and ate the seed. 5Some seed fell on the stony ground. Not much earth covered the stones. The seed started to grow right away because it was not deep in the ground. 6When the sun began to shine, it was too hot for the new plants. They died because they had no roots. 7Some seed fell among the weeds. The weeds grew up and made the new plants die. 8But some seed fell on good ground. The seed grew and the plants gave more seed. Some plants gave thirty seeds. Some gave sixty. And some gave a hundred. 9Everyone who has ears, listen!’ 10The disciples came to Jesus and asked him, ‘Why do you tell the people these stories?’ 11Jesus answered them, ‘You can learn the secret things about the kingdom of heaven. But they cannot learn them. 12Anyone who already has something will get more, and he will have plenty. But he who does not have anything, even the little that he has will be taken away from him. 13That is why I tell them stories. They look, but they do not see. They listen, but they do not hear or understand. 14They make what Isaiah the prophet said long ago, come true. ‘Isaiah said: "You will listen and listen, but you will not understand. You will look and look, but you will not see. 15The hearts of these people have no feeling. They do not hear well with their ears. And they have shut their eyes. They do not want to see with their eyes. They do not want to hear with their ears. They do not want to understand in their hearts. They do not want to turn to me. If they did turn, I would heal them." 16‘God is blessing your eyes because they see. God is blessing your ears because they hear. 17I tell you the truth. Many prophets and good men wanted to see what you see, but they did not see them. They wanted to hear what you hear, but they did not hear them. 18‘So listen to hear what the story means, about the man who sowed the seed.’ 19‘People listen to the message about the kingdom of heaven. If anyone does not understand it, the devil comes along and takes the message out of his heart. That person is like the seed which fell on the road. 20Some seed fell on the stony ground. That is like a person who hears the message and right away he is glad to hear it. 21But it does not go down deep in his heart. He believes it for a short time. When trouble or a hard time comes because of the message, he stops believing. 22Some seed fell among the weeds. That is like the person who hears the message. But he thinks about the things of this world. He wants to get money to be happy. These things push the message out of his heart. No good comes from it. 23Some seed fell on good ground. That is like a person who hears the message and understands it. Much good comes from it. Some people are like the seed that gave a hundred more seeds. Some people are like the seed that gave sixty. Some people are like the seed that gave thirty.’

24Jesus told the people another story. He said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like this. A man sowed good seed in his field. 25While people were sleeping, a bad man came and sowed weeds among the good seed. Then he went away. 26The good seed grew and the plants gave more seeds. Then the weeds grew too. 27The servants came and said to the man who owned the field, "Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How did the weeds get here?" 28‘He answered them, "A bad man has done this." They asked him, "Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?" 29‘"No," said the man. "If you pull up the weeds, then the good plants will come up with them. 30Let them both grow together until the harvest time. When it is time to cut it, I will say to the men who cut it, ‘Cut the weeds first. Tie them in bundles to be burned. Then put the grain into my storehouse.’"‘ 31Jesus told the people another story. He said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like this. A man took a mustard seed and planted it in his field. 32A mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds. But the plant that grows from it is bigger than other plants. It is like a tree. It is so big that birds come and live in the branches.’ 33Jesus told them another story. He said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman took yeast and mixed it with many cups of flour. The yeast went all through the flour.’ 34Jesus told the people all these things in stories. He did not tell them anything without a story. 35What the prophet of God said long ago, came true. He said, ‘I will use stories. I will tell things that have been secret since the world was made.’ 36Then Jesus left the people and went into the house. His disciples came to him. They said, ‘Tell us the meaning of the story about the weeds in the field.’ 37Jesus answered, ‘The person who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world. The good seed means the people who belong to the kingdom. The weeds mean those who belong to the bad one. 39The bad man who planted the weeds is the devil. The harvest time is the end of this world. The men who cut the harvest are angels. 40The weeds are gathered and burned in a fire. That is the way it will be at the end of the world. 41The Son of Man will send his angels. They will gather everything that is bad and the people who do bad things. They will take them out of his kingdom. 42They will put them into the big fire. There they will cry and make a noise with their teeth. 43Then the people who are right with God will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Everyone who has ears, listen.’

44‘The kingdom of heaven is like this. Something worth a lot of money is buried in a field. A man found it and covered it again. He was so glad that he went and sold everything he had. Then he bought that field.’ 45‘The kingdom of heaven is like this. A trader was looking for fine stones called pearls. 46He found a pearl that was worth a lot of money. Then he went and sold everything he had and bought it.’ 47‘The kingdom of heaven is like this. A fish net was thrown into the sea. It caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the men pulled it to the land. They sat down and picked out the good fish into baskets. But they threw the bad fish away. 49That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and take the bad people away from the good people. 50They will put the bad people into the never-ending hell fire. There they will cry and make a noise with their teeth.’ 51Jesus asked, ‘Have you understood all these stories?’ The disciples said, ‘Yes.’ 52Then Jesus said to them, ‘So anyone who knows the law and has learned about the kingdom of heaven, is like the headman of a house. He can bring both new things and old things out of what he has stored up.’

53When Jesus had finished telling these stories, he went away from there. 54He went back to his home town and he taught people in their meeting house. They were very much surprised and said, ‘Where did he learn all this? Where did he get the power to do these big works? 55Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not Mary his mother? Are not James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? 56Are not his sisters all here with us? Where did he get all this?’ 57They did not understand Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Other people honour a man who is a prophet. But the people in his own country and home do not honour him.’ 58Jesus could not do many big works in that place because the people did not believe in him.

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