Matthew 13:1-23 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Jesus Uses a Story About Planting Seed (Mk. 4:1-9; Lk. 8:4-8)

13 1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2Many, many people gathered around Jesus. So Jesus got into a boat and sat down. All the people stayed on the shore. 3Then Jesus used stories to teach the people many things. Jesus said: "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 when the sun rose, it burned the plants. 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. 8Some other seed fell on good ground. In the good ground, the seed grew and made grain. Some plants made 100 times more grain. Some plants made 60 times more, and some made 30 times more grain. 9You people that hear me, listen!"

Why Jesus Used Stories to Teach (Mk. 4:10-12; Lk. 8:9-10)

10The followers came to Jesus and asked, "Why do you use these stories to teach the people?" 11Jesus answered, "Only you can know the secret truths about the kingdom of heaven. Those other people cannot know these secret truths. 12The person that has [some understanding] will be given more. And he will have even more than he needs. But the person that does not have [much understanding] will lose even the little [understanding] that he has. 13This is why I use these stories to teach the people: The people see, but they don't really see. The people hear, but they don't really understand. 14So these people show that the things Isaiah said about them are true: 'You people will listen and you will hear, but you will not understand. You people will look and you will see, but you will not understand what you see. 15Yes, the hearts (minds) of these people (the Jews) are now hard. These people have ears, but they don't listen, and they refuse to see [the truth]. This has happened so that they will not see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their minds. This has happened so that they will not turn to me to heal them.' Isaiah 6:9-10

16But you are blessed. You understand the things you see with your eyes. And you understand the things you hear with your ears. 17I tell you the truth. Many prophets* and good people wanted to see the things that you now see. But they did not see these things. And many prophets and good people wanted to hear the things that you now hear. But they did not hear these things.

Jesus Explains the Seeds (Mk. 4:13-20; Lk. 8:11-15)

18"So listen to the meaning of that story about the farmer. 19What is the seed that fell by the path? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching about the kingdom but does not understand it. The Evil One (the devil) comes and takes away the things that were planted in that person's heart. 20And what is the seed that fell on rocky ground? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching and quickly and gladly accepts that teaching. 21But that person does not let the teaching go deep into his life. He keeps that teaching only a short time. When trouble or persecution* comes because of the teaching he accepted, then he quickly quits. 22And what is the seed that fell among the thorny weeds? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching but lets worries about this life and love for money stop that teaching from growing. So the teaching does not make fruit* [in that person's life]. 23But what is the seed that fell on the good ground? That seed is like the person that hears the teaching and understands it. That person grows and makes fruit, sometimes 100 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 30 times more."

prophets People that spoke for God. Some of them wrote books that are part of the Old Testament. persecution Being hurt or bothered by God's enemies. fruit The good things God wants his people to do.

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