31Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field.32It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches.”
34Jesus used parables to tell all these things to the crowds; he would not say a thing to them without using a parable. 35He did this to make what the prophet had said come true:
“I will use parables when I speak to them;
I will tell them things unknown since the creation of the world.”
Jesus Explains the Parable of the Weeds
36When Jesus had left the crowd and gone indoors, his disciples came to him and said, “Tell us what the parable about the weeds in the field means.”
37Jesus answered, “The man who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man;38the field is the world; the good seed is the people who belong to the Kingdom; the weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One;39and the enemy who sowed the weeds is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvest workers are angels.40Just as the weeds are gathered up and burnt in the fire, so the same thing will happen at the end of the age:41the Son of Man will send out his angels to gather up out of his Kingdom all those who cause people to sin and all others who do evil things,42and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and grind their teeth.43Then God's people will shine like the sun in their Father's Kingdom. Listen, then, if you have ears!
The Parable of the Hidden Treasure
44“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man happens to find a treasure hidden in a field. He covers it up again, and is so happy that he goes and sells everything he has, and then goes back and buys that field.
The Parable of the Pearl
45“Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man is looking for fine pearls,46and when he finds one that is unusually fine, he goes and sells everything he has, and buys that pearl.
The Parable of the Net
47“Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Some fishermen throw their net out in the lake and catch all kinds of fish.48When the net is full, they pull it to shore and sit down to divide the fish: the good ones go into their buckets, the worthless ones are thrown away.49It will be like this at the end of the age: the angels will go out and gather up the evil people from among the good50and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and grind their teeth.
New Truths and Old
51“Do you understand these things?” Jesus asked them.
“Yes,” they answered.
52So he replied, “This means, then, that every teacher of the Law who becomes a disciple in the Kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who takes new and old things out of his storeroom.”
53When Jesus finished telling these parables, he left that place 54and went back to his home town. He taught in the synagogue, and those who heard him were amazed. “Where did he get such wisdom?” they asked. “And what about his miracles? 55Isn't he the carpenter's son? Isn't Mary his mother, and aren't James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas his brothers? 56Aren't all his sisters living here? Where did he get all this?” 57And so they rejected him.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is respected everywhere except in his home town and by his own family.”58Because they did not have faith, he did not perform many miracles there.
1At that time Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus. 2“He is really John the Baptist, who has come back to life,” he told his officials. “That is why he has this power to perform miracles.”
3For Herod had earlier ordered John's arrest, and he had him chained and put in prison. He had done this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. 4For some time John the Baptist had told Herod, “It isn't right for you to be married to Herodias!” 5Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid of the Jewish people, because they considered John to be a prophet.
6On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced in front of the whole group. Herod was so pleased 7that he promised her, “I swear that I will give you anything you ask for!”
8At her mother's suggestion she asked him, “Give me here and now the head of John the Baptist on a dish!”
9The king was sad, but because of the promise he had made in front of all his guests he gave orders that her wish be granted. 10So he had John beheaded in prison. 11The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12John's disciples came, carried away his body, and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.
13When Jesus heard the news about John, he left there in a boat and went to a lonely place by himself. The people heard about it, so they left their towns and followed him by land. 14Jesus got out of the boat, and when he saw the large crowd, his heart was filled with pity for them, and he healed those who were ill.
15That evening his disciples came to him and said, “It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away and let them go to the villages to buy food for themselves.”
16“They don't have to leave,” answered Jesus. “You yourselves give them something to eat!”
17“All we have here are five loaves and two fish,” they replied.
18“Then bring them here to me,” Jesus said. 19He ordered the people to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left over. 21The number of men who ate was about 5,000, not counting the women and children.
22Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people away. 23After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone; 24and by this time the boat was far out in the lake, tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it.
25Between three and six o'clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. 26When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It's a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear.
27Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don't be afraid!”
28Then Peter spoke up. “Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you.”
29“Come!” answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. “Save me, Lord!” he cried.
31At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, “How little faith you have! Why did you doubt?”
32They both got into the boat, and the wind died down. 33Then the disciples in the boat worshipped Jesus. “Truly you are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
34They crossed the lake and came to land at Gennesaret, 35where the people recognized Jesus. So they sent for the sick people in all the surrounding country and brought them to Jesus. 36They begged him to let those who were ill at least touch the edge of his cloak; and all who touched it were made well.
1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the Law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked him, 2“Why is it that your disciples disobey the teaching handed down by our ancestors? They don't wash their hands in the proper way before they eat!”
3Jesus answered, “And why do you disobey God's command and follow your own teaching?4For God said, ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses his father or his mother is to be put to death.’5But you teach that if a person has something he could use to help his father or mother, but says, ‘This belongs to God,’6he does not need to honour his father.In this way you disregard God's command, in order to follow your own teaching.7You hypocrites! How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you!
8‘These people, says God, honour me with their words,
but their heart is really far away from me.
9It is no use for them to worship me,
because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!’ ”
10Then Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand!11It is not what goes into a person's mouth that makes him ritually unclean; rather, what comes out of it makes him unclean.”
12Then the disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that the Pharisees had their feelings hurt by what you said?”
13“Every plant which my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up,” answered Jesus. 14“Don't worry about them! They are blind leaders of the blind; and when one blind man leads another, both fall into a ditch.”
15Peter spoke up, “Explain this saying to us.”
16Jesus said to them, “You are still no more intelligent than the others.17Don't you understand? Anything that goes into a person's mouth goes into his stomach and then on out of his body.18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these are the things that make a person ritually unclean.19For from his heart come the evil ideas which lead him to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others.20These are the things that make a person unclean. But to eat without washing your hands as they say you should — this doesn't make a person unclean.”
21Jesus left that place and went off to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.”
23But Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples came to him and begged him, “Send her away! She is following us and making all this noise!”
24Then Jesus replied, “I have been sent only to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.”
25At this the woman came and fell at his feet. “Help me, sir!” she said.
26Jesus answered, “It isn't right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.”
27“That's true, sir,” she answered; “but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their masters' table.”
28So Jesus answered her, “You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.” And at that very moment her daughter was healed.