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by the sea-side: and he began again to teach by the sea-side: and great multitudes were gathered together unto him. And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea, on the land, and stood on the shore. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken ; Behold, there went out a sower, to sow his seed: and it came to pass as he sowed, some fell by the wayside ; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air came, and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth : But, as soon as it was sprung up, when the sun was up, it was scorched, because it lacked moisture : and, because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up with it, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. But other fell into good ground, and sprang up, and increased, and brought forth fruit, some a hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. And when he had said these things, he cried, and said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

And when he was alone, the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables ? He answered, and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but unto them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he TEACHING BY PARABLES.

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hath; but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables : That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear and not understand ; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand ; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive : For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see ; and your ears, for they hear.* For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

They that were about him, with the twelve, asked him of the parable, saying, What might this parable be? And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable ? and how, then, will ye know all parables ? Hear ye, therefore, the parable of the sower: Now the parable is this : The seed is the word of God. The sower soweth the word. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then immediately, lest he should believe, and be saved, cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away the word that was sown in his heart. This is he which

* Here we have the general reason why Christ taught in parables, The things of God were thereby made more plain and easy to those willing to be taught, and at the same time more obscure and difficult to those who were “ willingly ignorant."

received seed by the way-side. But he that received the word into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it ; yet hath he not root in himself ; but dureth for a while ; for a while believeth ; and afterward, in time of temptation, when affliction, when tribulation or persecution, ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended, and falleth away. He also that received seed among the thorns, is he that heareth the word ; and when he hath heard goeth forth, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and pleasures of this life, and the lusts of other things, entering in, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that receiveth the seed into good ground, is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; and receiveth it in an honest and good heart, and having heard the word, keepeth it with patience; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

And he said unto them, No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed ; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest ; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known, and come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear : and how ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given : and he that hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he seemeth to have.

And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should

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it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herl s, and shooteth out great branches; and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof; under the shadow of it.

Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables ; and without a parable spake he not unto them: and with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables ; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. And when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house : and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man: the field is the world ; the good seed are the children of the kingdom ; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

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