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B. The Unveiling of the Kingdom's Mysteries
1. The Preliminary Work of the Kingdom
1 On that day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
2 And great crowds were gathered to Him, so that He stepped into a boat and sat, and all the crowd stood on the shore.
3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the way, and the birds came and devoured them.
5 And others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much earth, and immediately they sprang up because they had no depth of earth.
6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered.
7 And others fell on the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them.
8 But others fell on the good earth and yielded fruit, one a hundredfold, and one sixtyfold, and one thirtyfold.
9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, Why do You speak in parables to them?
11 And He answered and said to them, Because to you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens, but to them it has not been given.
12 For whoever has, it shall be given to him, and he will abound; but whoever does not have, even that which he has shall be taken away from him.
13 For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ``In hearing you shall hear and by no means understand, and seeing you shall see and by no means perceive.
15 For the heart of this people has become fat, and with their ears they have heard heavily, and their eyes they have closed, lest they perceive with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and they turn around, and I will heal them.''
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to perceive the things that you see, and have not perceived them, and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them.
18 You therefore hear the parable of the one who sowed.
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand, the evil one comes and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is the one sown beside the way.
20 And the one sown on the rocky places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 Yet he does not have root in himself but lasts only for a time, and when affliction or persecution occurs because of the word, immediately he is stumbled.
22 And the one sown in the thorns, this is he who hears the word, and the anxiety of the age and the deceitfulness of riches utterly choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
23 But the one sown on the good earth, this is he who hears the word and understands, who by all means bears fruit and produces, one a hundredfold, and one sixtyfold, and one thirtyfold.
2. The Establishment of the Kingdom and Its False Constituents
24 Another parable He set before them, saying, The kingdom of the heavens has become like a man sowing good seed in his field.
25 But while the men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares in the midst of the wheat and went away.
26 And when the blade sprouted and produced fruit, then the tares appeared also.
27 And the slaves of the master of the house came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where then did the tares come from?
28 And he said to them, An enemy has done this. And the slaves said to him, Do you want us then to go and collect them?
29 But he said, No, lest while collecting the tares, you uproot the wheat along with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Collect first the tares and bind them into bundles to burn them up, but the wheat gather into my barn.
3. The Abnormal Development
of the Outward Appearance of the Kingdom
31 Another parable He set before them, saying, The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
32 And which is smaller than all the seeds; but when it has grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and roost in its branches.
4. The Inward Corruption
of the Outward Appearance of the Kingdom
33 Another parable He spoke to them: The kingdom of the heavens is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.
34 All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the crowds, and apart from a parable He spoke nothing to them,
35 So that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ``I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.''
5. The Establishment of the Kingdom
and Its False Constituents (Continued)
36 Then, leaving the crowds, He went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, Make the parable of the tares of the field clear to us.
37 And He answered and said, He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man;
38 And the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;
39 And the enemy who sowed them is the devil; and the harvest is the consummation of the age; and the reapers are angels.
40 Therefore just as the tares are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the consummation of the age.
41 The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will collect out of His kingdom all the stumbling blocks and those who practice lawlessness,
42 And will cast them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
6. The Kingdom Hidden in the God-created Earth
44 The kingdom of the heavens is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid, and in his joy goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.
7. The Church Produced out of the Satan-corrupted World
45 Again, the kingdom of the heavens is like a merchant seeking fine pearls;
46 And finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
8. The Eternal Gospel and Its Result
47 Again, the kingdom of the heavens is like a net cast into the sea and gathering from every species,
48 Which, when it was filled, they brought onto the shore, and sat down and collected the good into vessels; but the foul they cast out.
49 So it will be at the consummation of the age: the angels will go forth and separate the evil from the midst of the righteous,
50 And will cast them into the furnace of fire. In that place there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
9. The Treasure of Things New and Old
51 Have you understood all these things? They said to Him, Yes.
52 And He said to them, For this reason every scribe discipled to the kingdom of the heavens is like a householder who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.
C. The Increase of Rejection
1. Rejection by His Countrymen
53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there.
54 And He came into His own country and taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, Where did this man get this wisdom and these works of power?
55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?
56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?
57 And they were stumbled because of Him. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.
58 And He did not do many works of power there because of their unbelief.