Matthew 13 The Passion Translation (TPT)
The Parables of Jesus
13 Later that day, Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeshore to teach the people. 2 Soon, there were so many people surrounding him that he had to teach sitting in a boat while the large crowd stood on the shore. 3 He taught them many things by using stories, parables that would illustrate spiritual truths,[a] saying:
“Consider this: There was a farmer who went out to sow seeds. 4 As he cast his seeds, some fell along the beaten path and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell onto gravel that had no topsoil. The seeds quickly shot up, 6 but when the days grew hot, the sprouts were scorched and withered because they had insufficient roots. 7 Other seeds fell among the thorns and weeds, so when the seeds sprouted, so did the weeds, crowding out the good plants. 8 But other seeds fell on good, rich soil that kept producing a good harvest. Some yielded thirty, some sixty, and some even one hundred times as much as he planted! 9 If you’re able to understand this, then you need to respond.”[b]
10 Then his disciples approached Jesus and asked, “Why do you always speak to people in these hard-to-understand parables?”
11 He explained, “You’ve been given the intimate experience of insight into the hidden truths and mysteries[c] of the realm of heaven’s kingdom, but they have not. 12 For everyone who listens with an open heart will receive progressively more revelation[d] until he has more than enough.[e] But those who don’t listen with an open, teachable heart, even the understanding that they think they have will be taken from them.[f] 13 That’s why I teach the people using parables, because they think they’re looking for truth, yet because their hearts are unteachable, they never discover it. Although they will listen to me, they never fully perceive the message I speak. 14 The prophecy of Isaiah describes them perfectly:
Although they listen carefully to everything I speak,
16 “But your eyes are privileged, for they see. Delighted are your ears, for they are open to hear all these things.[i] 17 Many prophets and godly people in times past yearned to see these days of miracles that you’ve been favored to see. They would have given everything to hear the revelation you’ve been favored to hear. Yet they didn’t get to see as much as a glimpse or hear even a whisper.
18 “Now you are ready to listen to the revelation of the parable of the sower and his seeds:
19 “The seed that fell on the beaten path represents the heart of the one who hears the message of the kingdom realm[j] but doesn’t understand it. The Adversary then comes and snatches away what was sown into his heart.
20 “The seed sown on gravel represents the person who gladly hears the kingdom message,[k] but his experience remains shallow.[l] 21 Shortly after he hears it, troubles and persecutions come because of the kingdom message he received. Then he quickly falls away,[m] for the truth didn’t sink deeply into his heart.
22 “The seed sown among weeds represents the person who receives the message, but all of life’s busy distractions, his divided heart, and his ambition for wealth[n] result in suffocating the kingdom message and prevent him from bearing spiritual fruit.[o]
23 “As for the seed that fell upon good, rich soil, it represents the hearts of people who hear and fully embrace the message of heaven’s kingdom realm. Their lives bear good fruit—some yield a harvest of thirty, sixty, even one hundred times as much as was sown.”
The Parable of the Weeds
24 Then Jesus taught them[p] another parable:
“Heaven’s kingdom realm can be compared to a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But at night, when everyone was asleep, an enemy came and planted poisonous weeds[q] among the wheat and ran away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and bore grain, the weeds also appeared. 27 So the farmer’s hired hands came to him and said, ‘Sir, wasn’t that good seed that you sowed in the field? Where did all these weeds come from?’
28 “He answered, ‘This has to be the work of an enemy!’
“They replied, ‘Do you want us to go and gather up all the weeds?’
29 “‘No,’ he said. ‘If you pull out the weeds you might uproot the wheat at the same time. 30 You must allow them both to grow together until the time of harvest. At that time, I’ll tell my harvesters to make sure they gather the weeds first and tie them all in bundles to be burned. Then they will harvest the wheat and put it into my barn.’”
The Parable of the Tiny Mustard Seed
31 Then Jesus taught them another parable:
“Heaven’s kingdom realm can be compared to the tiny mustard seed that a man takes and plants in his field. 32 Although the smallest of all the seeds, it eventually grows into the greatest of garden plants, becoming a tree for birds to come and build their nests in its branches.”
The Parable of the Yeast
33 Then he taught them another parable:
“Heaven’s kingdom realm can be compared to yeast that a woman takes and blends into three measures of flour and then waits until all the dough rises.”[r]
Prophecy and Parables
34 Whenever Jesus addressed the crowds, he always spoke in allegories. He never spoke without using parables. 35 He did this in order to fulfill the prophecy:
I will speak to you in allegories.
Jesus Explains the Parables
36 Jesus left the crowds and went inside the house where he was staying.[t] Then his disciples approached him and asked, “Please explain the deeper meaning of the parable of the weeds growing in the field of wheat.”
37 He answered, “The man who sowed his field with good seed represents me, the Son of Man. 38 And the field is the world. The good seeds I sow are the children of the kingdom realm. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest points to the end of this age, and the harvesters are God’s messengers.[u] 40 As the weeds are bundled up and thrown into the fire, so it will be at the close of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his messengers, and they will uproot everything out of his kingdom. All the lawless ones and everything that causes sin will be removed. 42 And they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish.[v] 43 Then the godly ones will shine like the brightness of the sun[w] in their Father’s kingdom realm. If you’re able to understand this, then you’d better respond!”
Parables of Hidden Treasure and an Extraordinary Pearl
44 “Heaven’s kingdom realm can be illustrated like this:
“A person discovered that there was hidden treasure in a field. Upon finding it, he hid it again. Because of uncovering such treasure, he was overjoyed and sold all that he possessed to buy the entire field just so he could have the treasure.[x]
45 “Heaven’s kingdom realm is also like a jewel merchant in search of rare pearls. 46 When he discovered one very precious[y] and exquisite pearl, he immediately gave up all he had in exchange for it.”[z]
The Parable of the Fishing Net
47 “Again, heaven’s kingdom realm is like a fisherman who casts his large net into the lake, catching an assortment of different kinds of fish. 48 When the net was filled, the fishermen hauled it up on the shore, and they all sat down to sort out their catch. They collected the good fish in baskets and threw the bad away. 49 And so it will be at the close of the age. The messengers[aa] will come and separate the evil from among the godly 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will experience great sorrow, pain, and anguish. 51 Now do you understand all this?”
“Yes,” they replied.
52 He responded, “Every scholar of the Scriptures,[ab] who is instructed in the ways of heaven’s kingdom realm, is like a wealthy home owner with his house filled with treasures both new and old. And he knows how and when to bring them out to show others.”[ac]
53 Right after Jesus taught this series of parables, he left[ad] from there.
Jesus Rejected in His Hometown
54 When Jesus arrived in his hometown of Nazareth, he began teaching the people in the synagogue. Everyone was dazed, overwhelmed with astonishment over the depth of revelation they were hearing. They said to one another, “Where did this man get such great wisdom and miraculous powers? 55 Isn’t he just the wood-worker’s son?[ae] Isn’t his mother named Mary, and his four brothers Jacob,[af] Joseph, Simon, and Judah? 56 And don’t his sisters all live here in Nazareth? How did he get all this revelation and power?”[ag] 57 And the people became offended and began to turn against him.[ah]
Jesus said, “There’s only one place a prophet isn’t honored—his own hometown!” 58 And their great unbelief kept him from doing any mighty miracles in Nazareth.
Matthew 13 New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
The Parable of the Weeds
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[b] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
The Parable of the Weeds Explained
36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
The Parable of the Net
47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
A Prophet Without Honor
53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”
58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.