A Story about a Farmer
The next time Jesus taught beside Lake Galilee, a big crowd gathered. It was so large that he had to sit in a boat out on the lake, while the people stood on the shore.
He used stories to teach them many things, and this is part of what he taught:
3 Now listen! A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field.
4 While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds.
5 Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn't very deep.
6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots.
7 Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked out the plants. So they did not produce any grain.
8 But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants grew and produced thirty or sixty or even a hundred times as much as was scattered.
9 Then Jesus said, “If you have ears, pay attention.”
Why Jesus Used Stories
10 When Jesus was alone with the twelve apostles and some others, they asked him about these stories.
11 He answered:
I have explained the secret about God's kingdom to you, but for others I can use only stories.
The reason is,
“These people will look
and look, but never see.
They will listen and listen,
but never understand.
If they did,
they would turn to God,
and he would forgive them.”
Jesus Explains the Story about the Farmer
13 Jesus told them:
If you don't understand this story, you won't understand any others.
14 What the farmer is spreading is really the message about the kingdom.
15 The seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message. But Satan soon comes and snatches it away from them.
16 The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it right away.
17 But they don't have any roots, and they don't last very long. As soon as life gets hard or the message gets them in trouble, they give up.
18 The seeds that fell among the thornbushes are also people who hear the message.
19 But they start worrying about the needs of this life. They are fooled by the desire to get rich and to have all kinds of other things. So the message gets choked out, and they never produce anything.
20 The seeds that fell on good ground are the people who hear and welcome the message. They produce thirty or sixty or even a hundred times as much as was planted.