Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 337

Bible text(s)

The Parable of the Sower

1Again Jesus began to teach beside Lake Galilee. The crowd that gathered round him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it. The boat was out in the water, and the crowd stood on the shore at the water's edge. 2He used parables to teach them many things, saying to them:

3“Listen! Once there was a man who went out to sow corn. 4As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn't deep. 6Then, when the sun came up, it burnt the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. 7Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants, and they didn't produce any corn. 8But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants sprouted, grew, and produced corn: some had thirty grains, others sixty, and others 100.”

9And Jesus concluded, “Listen, then, if you have ears!”

The Purpose of the Parables

10When Jesus was alone, some of those who had heard him came to him with the twelve disciples and asked him to explain the parables. 11“You have been given the secret of the Kingdom of God,” Jesus answered. “But the others, who are on the outside, hear all things by means of parables, 12so that,

‘They may look and look,

yet not see;

they may listen and listen,

yet not understand.

For if they did, they would turn to God,

and he would forgive them.’ ”

Jesus Explains the Parable of the Sower

13Then Jesus asked them, “Don't you understand this parable? How, then, will you ever understand any parable? 14The sower sows God's message. 15Some people are like the seeds that fall along the path; as soon as they hear the message, Satan comes and takes it away. 16Other people are like the seeds that fall on rocky ground. As soon as they hear the message, they receive it gladly. 17But it does not sink deep into them, and they don't last long. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once. 18Other people are like the seeds sown among the thorn bushes. These are the ones who hear the message, 19but the worries about this life, the love for riches, and all other kinds of desires crowd in and choke the message, and they don't bear fruit. 20But other people are like the seeds sown in good soil. They hear the message, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirty, some sixty, and some 100.”

A Lamp under a Bowl

21Jesus continued, “Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl or under the bed? Doesn't he put it on the lampstand? 22Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be uncovered. 23Listen, then, if you have ears!”

24He also said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear! The same rules you use to judge others will be used by God to judge you — but with even greater severity. 25Those who have something will be given more, and those who have nothing will have taken away from them even the little they have.”

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26Jesus went on to say, “The Kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed in his field. 27He sleeps at night, is up and about during the day, and all the while the seeds are sprouting and growing. Yet he does not know how it happens. 28The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit; first the tender stalk appears, then the ear, and finally the ear full of corn. 29When the corn is ripe, the man starts cutting it with his sickle, because harvest time has come.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30“What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?” asked Jesus. “What parable shall we use to explain it? 31It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed, the smallest seed in the world, and plants it in the ground. 32After a while it grows up and becomes the biggest of all plants. It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in its shade.”

33Jesus preached his message to the people, using many other parables like these; he told them as much as they could understand. 34He would not speak to them without using parables, but when he was alone with his disciples, he would explain everything to them.

Jesus Calms a Storm

35On the evening of that same day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” 36So they left the crowd; the disciples got into the boat in which Jesus was already sitting, and they took him with them. Other boats were there too. 37Suddenly a strong wind blew up, and the waves began to spill over into the boat, so that it was about to fill with water. 38Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The disciples woke him up and said, “Teacher, don't you care that we are about to die?”

39Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, “Be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Be still!” The wind died down, and there was a great calm. 40Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you frightened? Have you still no faith?”

41But they were terribly afraid and said to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Jesus Heals a Man with Evil Spirits

1Jesus and his disciples arrived on the other side of Lake Galilee, in the territory of Gerasa. 2As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, he was met by a man who came out of the burial caves there. This man had an evil spirit in him 3and lived among the tombs. Nobody could keep him chained up any more; 4many times his feet and hands had been chained, but every time he broke the chains and smashed the irons on his feet. He was too strong for anyone to control him. 5Day and night he wandered among the tombs and through the hills, screaming and cutting himself with stones.

6He was some distance away when he saw Jesus; so he ran, fell on his knees before him, 7and screamed in a loud voice, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me? For God's sake, I beg you, don't punish me!” 8(He said this because Jesus was saying, “Evil spirit, come out of this man!”)

9So Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

The man answered, “My name is ‘Mob’ — there are so many of us!” 10And he kept begging Jesus not to send the evil spirits out of that region.

11There was a large herd of pigs near by, feeding on a hillside. 12So the spirits begged Jesus, “Send us to the pigs, and let us go into them.” 13He let them go, and the evil spirits went out of the man and entered the pigs. The whole herd — about 2,000 pigs in all — rushed down the side of the cliff into the lake and was drowned.

14The men who had been taking care of the pigs ran away and spread the news in the town and among the farms. People went out to see what had happened, 15and when they came to Jesus, they saw the man who used to have the mob of demons in him. He was sitting there, clothed and in his right mind; and they were all afraid. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the man with the demons, and about the pigs.

17So they asked Jesus to leave their territory.

18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had had the demons begged him, “Let me go with you!”

19But Jesus would not let him. Instead, he told him, “Go back home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how kind he has been to you.”

20So the man left and went all through the Ten Towns, telling what Jesus had done for him. And all who heard it were amazed.

Jairus' Daughter and the Woman who Touched Jesus' Cloak

21Jesus went back across to the other side of the lake. There at the lakeside a large crowd gathered round him. 22Jairus, an official of the local synagogue, arrived, and when he saw Jesus, he threw himself down at his feet 23and begged him earnestly, “My little daughter is very ill. Please come and place your hands on her, so that she will get well and live!”

24Then Jesus started off with him. So many people were going along with Jesus that they were crowding him from every side.

25There was a woman who had suffered terribly from severe bleeding for twelve years, 26even though she had been treated by many doctors. She had spent all her money, but instead of getting better she got worse all the time. 27She had heard about Jesus, so she came in the crowd behind him, 28saying to herself, “If I just touch his clothes, I will get well.”

29She touched his cloak, and her bleeding stopped at once; and she had the feeling inside herself that she was healed of her trouble. 30At once Jesus knew that power had gone out of him, so he turned round in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31His disciples answered, “You see how the people are crowding you; why do you ask who touched you?”

32But Jesus kept looking round to see who had done it. 33The woman realized what had happened to her, so she came, trembling with fear, knelt at his feet, and told him the whole truth. 34Jesus said to her, “My daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your trouble.”

35While Jesus was saying this, some messengers came from Jairus' house and told him, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the Teacher any longer?”

36Jesus paid no attention to what they said, but told him, “Don't be afraid, only believe.” 37Then he did not let anyone else go on with him except Peter and James and his brother John. 38They arrived at Jairus' house, where Jesus saw the confusion and heard all the loud crying and wailing. 39He went in and said to them, “Why all this confusion? Why are you crying? The child is not dead — she is only sleeping!”

40They laughed at him, so he put them all out, took the child's father and mother and his three disciples, and went into the room where the child was lying. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha, koum,” which means, “Little girl, I tell you to get up!”

42She got up at once and started walking around. (She was twelve years old.) When this happened, they were completely amazed. 43But Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell anyone, and he said, “Give her something to eat.”

Mark 4:1-5:43GNBOpen in Bible reader
Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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