SOME STORIES THAT JESUS TOLD BY THE SEA
Matthew xiii: 1 to 53; Mark iv: 1 to 34; Luke viii: 4 to 18.
FTER Jesus had journeyed through the southern parts of
Galilee, teaching and healing the sick, he came again
to Capernaum; and one day went out of the city to a
place where the beach rose up gently from the water.
There he sat in Simon Peter's boat, as he had sat
before, and spoke to a great crowd of people who stood
on the beach.
At this time Jesus began teaching the people by
parables; that is, by stories which showed the truths
of the gospel. Everybody liked to hear a story; and
the story would often lead people to think, and to find
out the truth for themselves. The first of these
parables or stories that Jesus gave was called "The
Parable of the Sower."
"Listen to me," said Jesus. "A sower went out to sow
his seed. And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the
roadside, where the ground was hard, where some of the
seed was trodden down, and other seeds were picked up
by the birds. Some of the seed fell
 where the soil was
thin, because rocks were under it. These seeds grew
up quickly, but when the sun became hot, they were
scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough
soil and moisture for their roots. Other seeds fell
among briars and thorns, and the thorns kept them from
growing. And some seeds fell into good ground, and
brought forth fruit, thirty times as many as were sown,
sixty times, and even a hundred times. Whoever has
ears to hear this, let him hear!" When Jesus was alone
with his disciples, they said to him, "Why do you speak
to the people in parables? What does this parable
about the man sowing his seeds mean?"
And Jesus said to them, "To you it is given to know the
deep things of the kingdom of God, because you seek to
find them out. But to many these things are spoken in
parables, for they hear the story, but do not try to
find out what it means. They have eyes, but they do
not see; and they have ears; but they do not hear. For
they do not wish to understand with the heart, and turn
to the Lord and have their sins forgiven them. But
blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for
they hear. Listen now to the meaning of the parable of
 "The sower is the one who speaks the word of God; and
the seed is the word which he speaks. The seed by the
roadside are those who hear; but the evil one comes,
and snatches away the truth, so that they forget it.
The seed on the rock are those who hear the word with
joy, but have no root in themselves, and their goodness
lasts only for a little time. That which is sown among
the thorns are they who hear, but the cares of the
world, and seeking after riches and the enjoyments of
this life, crowd out the gospel from their lives, so
that it does them but little good. But that which is
sown on the good ground are they who take the word into
an honest and good heart, and keep it, and bring forth
fruit in their lives."
Another parable or story given by Jesus to the people
was, "The Parable of the Tares":
"The kingdom of God is as a man sowing good seed in his
field; but while people were asleep, his enemy came and
sowed tares, or weeds, among the wheat, and then went
away. When the shoots of grain began to have heads of
wheat then the tares were seen among them. The
servants of the farmer came to him, and said, 'Sir, did
you not sow good seed in your field? How did the tares
come into it?'
"He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.'
" 'Shall we go and pick out the tares from among the
wheat?' asked the servants.
" 'No,' answered the farmer, 'for while
you are pulling
up the tares, you will root up also the wheat with
them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and in
the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers,
'Take out the tares first, and bind them in bundles, to
be burned; but gather wheat into my barn.' "
Another parable was that of "The Mustard Seed." He
"The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed,
which a man took and sowed in his field. This is the
smallest of all seeds: but it grows up to be a large
bush, almost a tree, so that the birds of the air light
upon its branches and rest under its shadow."
Another parable was "The Leaven, or Yeast":
"The kingdom of heaven is like a little leaven, or
yeast, that a woman mixed with dough when she was
making bread. It worked through all the dough and
changed it into good, light bread."
 These parables Jesus told to the people as he sat in
the boat and the people stood on the shore. But he did
not tell them what the parables meant, for he wished
them to think out the meaning for themselves. After
giving the parables he sent the people away, and came
back to the house in the city. There his disciples said
to him, "Tell us the meaning of the parable of the
tares growing in the field."
Jesus said to them, "The one who sows the good seed is
the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed
are those who belong to the kingdom of God; but the
tares, the weeds, are the children of the evil one; the
enemy that sowed them is Satan, the devil; and the
reapers are the angels. Just as the tares are gathered
and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of
the world. The Son of man shall send out his angels,
and they shall gather out of his kingdom all that do
evil and cause harm, and shall cast them into a furnace
of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
But the people of God in that day shall shine as the
sun in the kingdom of their Father."
And in the house Jesus gave to his disciples some more
parables for them to think upon. He said:
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure which a man
found hidden in a field. He was glad when he saw it,
but hid it again; and then went home and sold all
that he had and bought that field with the treasure
"The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who was
seeking precious pearls. This man found one pearl of
great price. He went and sold all that he had, and
bought the pearl.
"Once more: the kingdom of heaven is like a net that
was cast into the sea, and took in fish of all kinds.
When it was full, they drew the net to the shore. Then
they sat down and picked out the good fish from among
the bad. The good fish they put away for safe keeping,
but the bad fish they threw away. So shall it be at
the end of the world. The angels shall come, and shall
place the wicked apart from the good, and shall cast
them into a furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth."