At that time, Jesus went (on the Sabbath day) through the grain fields. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, “Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.”
But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he was hungry? …and those who were with him, how he entered into God’s house and ate the show bread (which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests)? Or, have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath day the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless? But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless… for the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
He departed there and went into their synagogue and behold there was a man with a withered hand. They asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” (that they might accuse him). He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep (and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day) won’t he grab on to it and lift it out? Of how much more value, then, is a man than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day.” Then he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and it was restored whole, just like the other. But the Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him. Jesus (perceiving that) withdrew from there.
Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all (and commanded them that they should not make him known) that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen… my beloved… in whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit on him. He will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not strive, nor shout. Neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He won’t break a bruised reed… he won’t quench a smoking flax… until he leads justice to victory. In his name, the nations will hope.”
Then one possessed by a demon (blind and mute) was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. All the multitudes were amazed, and said, “Can this be the son of David?” When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him. For they said, “He is insane.” But when the scribes and Pharisees (who came down from Jerusalem) heard it, they said, “He has Beelzebul,” and, “This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons,” and, “By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he summoned them. Jesus said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself …that kingdom cannot …will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. How then will his kingdom stand? If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided …he can’t stand …but has an end. If I (by Beelzebul) cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore, they will be your judges. But if I (by the Spirit of God) cast out demons, then God’s Kingdom has come upon you.
But no one can enter into the house of the strong man and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man – and then he will plunder his house. He who is not with me is against me, and he who doesn’t gather with me scatters. Most certainly I tell you, every sin and blasphemy of the descendants of man will be forgiven men (including their blasphemies with which they may blaspheme), but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness (but is subject to eternal condemnation). Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit… it will not be forgiven him… neither in this age, nor in that which is to come (because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit’). Either make the tree good, and its fruit good… or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt… for the tree is known by its fruit.
You, offspring of vipers! How can you (being evil) speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things. I tell you that every idle word that men speak… they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it – but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation (and will condemn it), for they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And behold, someone greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation (and will condemn it), for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.
When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest, and doesn’t find it. Then he says, ‘I will return into my house from which I came out.’ And when he has come back, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation.”
His mother and brothers came to him, and they could not come near him for the crowd. While he was yet speaking to the multitudes sitting around him, they stood outside seeking to speak to him. One said to him, “Behold, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters stand outside desiring to speak to you.” But looking at those who sat around him, he answered him who spoke, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” He stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, “Behold, my mother and my brothers! For my mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of my Father who is in heaven – and do it.”
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the seaside preaching and bringing the good news of God’s Kingdom. With him were the twelve, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who was called Magdalene (from whom seven demons had gone out), and Joanna (the wife of Chuzas, Herod’s steward), Susanna, and many others who served them from their possessions.
When great multitudes gathered to him …he entered into a boat, and sat, and all the multitude stood on the beach. People from every city were coming to him. He spoke to them many things in parables, and told them in his teaching,
“Listen, a farmer went out to sow his seed.
- As he sowed, some seed fell by the roadside and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the sky came and devoured them.
- Other seed fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil. As soon as they sprang up (because they had no depth of soil) when the sun had risen, they were scorched, because they had no root. They withered away, because it had no moisture.
- Others fell among thorns. The thorns grew up with it and choked it (and it yielded no fruit).
- Others fell on good ground, and yielded fruit growing up and increasing. Some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty times as much fruit.”
As he said these things, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”
When he was alone, those who were around him (with the twelve disciples) came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”, and “What does this parable mean?” He answered them, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of God’s Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. To the rest (who are outside), all things are done in parables that ‘seeing they may not see. And hearing, they may not understand… lest perhaps they should turn again, and their sins should be forgiven them.’ Don’t you understand this parable? How will you understand all of the parables?
For whoever has, to him will be given – and he will have abundance. But whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has. Therefore, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don’t see, and hearing, they don’t hear (neither do they understand). In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says,
‘By hearing, you will hear, and will in no way understand. Seeing, you will see, and will in no way perceive. For this people’s heart has grown callous… their ears are dull of hearing… they have closed their eyes. Or else, perhaps they might perceive with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and would turn again – and I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes, for they see… and your ears, for they hear. For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see (and didn’t see them), and to hear the things which you hear (and didn’t hear them).
Hear, then, the parable of the farmer.
The farmer sows the word; The seed is the word of God.
- The seed by the road are the ones when anyone hears the word of the Kingdom and doesn’t understand it. Immediately the evil one (Satan/the devil) comes and snatches away the word which has been sown in his heart… that they may not believe and be saved. This is what was sown by the roadside.
- These (in the same way) are those who are sown on the rocky places… who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. Yet they have no root in themselves… are short-lived… endure/believe for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they stumble… fall away in time of temptation.
- Others are those who are sown, which fell among the thorns. These are those who have heard the word, and as they go on their way, they are choked with the cares of this age, the deceitfulness of riches, the lusts of other things, and pleasures of life (entering in) choke the word …and it becomes unfruitful.
- Those which were sown on the good ground are those who hear the word in an honest and good heart. Having heard the word, understand and accept it …and hold it tightly …and produce fruit with patience (some thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times).”
He set another parable before them, saying… “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while people slept his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat (and went away). But when the blade sprang up and produced fruit, then the darnel weeds appeared also. The servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did these darnel weeds come from?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
He said, “God’s Kingdom is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow. He doesn’t know how. For the earth bears fruit – first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
He set another parable before them, saying… “How will we liken God’s Kingdom? Or, with what parable will we illustrate it? The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. Though it is smaller than all seeds that are on the earth, yet when it grows up… becomes greater than all the herbs… becomes a tree, and puts out great branches (so that the birds of the air can come and lodge under its shadow in its branches).”
He spoke another parable to them. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until it was all leavened.” He said to them, “Is the lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a container, or puts it under a bed. But, puts it on a stand that those who enter in may see the light? For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known. Neither was anything made secret, that will not be known and come to light. If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.”
He said to them, “Be careful what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you (and more will be given to you who hear). For whoever has, to him will more be given. And he who doesn’t have, even that which he thinks he has will be taken away from him.”
Jesus spoke the word to them (as they were able to hear it). He spoke many such parables to the multitudes. Without a parable he didn’t speak to them… but privately (to his own disciples) he explained everything – that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, “I will open my mouth in parables. I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.”
Then Jesus sent the multitudes away and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field.” He answered them,
- “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
- The field is the world, and
- the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom.
- The darnel weeds are the children of the evil one.
- The enemy who sowed them is the devil.
- The harvest is the end of the age, and
- the reapers are angels.
“As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of this age.
“The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity… and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid. In his joy he goes and sells all that he has – and buys that field.
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls… who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some fish of every kind (which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach). They sat down and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.
“So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked from among the righteous and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.”
Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They answered him, “Yes, Lord.” He said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things.”
On that day, when evening had come (when Jesus had finished these parables), he entered into a boat, himself and his disciples, and departed from there. He said, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.”
So, they launched out, leaving the multitude. They took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him, but as they sailed – he fell asleep. A big windstorm came down on the lake, and the waves beat into the boat – so much that the boat was already filled, and they were taking on dangerous amounts of water. He himself was in the stern (asleep on the cushion). And they woke him up, and told him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?” He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith… where is your faith?” They were greatly afraid (and marveled), saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the wind and the water… and they obey him?”
They arrived at the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. When Jesus had come out of the boat and stepped ashore… immediately a certain man (out of the city who had demons for a long time) met him. He wore no clothes and didn’t live in a house.
He lived in the tombs, for the unclean spirit had often seized the man. He was kept under guard. Nobody could bind him anymore (not even with chains), because he had been often bound with fetters and chains… and the chains had been torn apart by him… and the fetters broken in pieces. Nobody had the strength to tame him. Always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones. Breaking the bands apart, he was driven by the demon into the desert.
When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed down to him… crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What do I have to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I beg you by God, don’t torment me!” For Jesus was commanding, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”
Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He said to him, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” (For, many demons had entered into him.) They begged him much that he would not send them away… out of the country… that he would not command them to go into the abyss. Now, on the mountainside there was a great herd of many pigs feeding. All the demons begged him that he would allow them to enter into those, saying, “Send us into the pigs, that we may enter into them.” At once Jesus gave them permission. The demons came out of the man and entered into the pigs. The herd (about two thousand) rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and they were drowned in the sea. When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.
The people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man who had been possessed by demons sitting at Jesus’ feet… clothed and in his right mind (even him who had the legion) and they were afraid. Those who saw it declared to them how he who had been possessed by demons was healed (and about the pigs). All the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes began to beg him to depart from their region, for they were very much afraid.
As he was entering into the boat and returned, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might go with him. Jesus sent him away and didn’t allow him, but said to him, “Return to your house, to your friends, and declare what great things God has done for you, and how he had mercy on you.” He went his way and began to proclaim throughout the whole city and in Decapolis how Jesus had done great things for him – and everyone marveled.
Source Text Prioritization:
- Matthew 12:1- 13:53
- Mark 3:21 – 5:20
- Luke 8:1-39