The Gospel according to Matthew

13:1Later that day Jesus left the house and sat down beside the sea.13:2A large crowd gathered to him, so he got into a boat and sat there, while the crowd stayed on the shore.13:3Then he gave them many object lessons: “Picture someone going out to scatter seeds.13:4Some of them fell on the edges of the path, and the birds came along and ate them.13:5Others fell on thin, rocky soil. They sprang up quickly but had little depth,13:6so when the sun came up it scorched them, and they withered due to having no root.13:7Still others fell among thorns, which sprang up and choked them out.13:8But some fell on good soil and produced thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times more than was scattered.13:9If you have ears, listen!”

13:10Then his disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to them in object lessons?”

13:11“The secrets of the kingdom of the heavens have been revealed to you but not to them,” he replied.13:12“For more will be given to those who already have, and they will have plenty. But from those who have little, what they have will be taken away.13:13So I speak to them in object lessons because no matter how much they see and hear, they don’t understand.

13:14“This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah where it says, ‘You will hear the report but not understand; you will watch but not see.13:15For this people’s mind has become thick; they can barely hear and they’ve shut their eyes. Otherwise, they’d see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their minds. Then they would change their minds and I would miraculously heal them.‘13:16But be happy that your eyes see and your ears hear.13:17For I can assure you that many prophets and righteous people wanted to see what you see and hear what you hear, but they could not.

13:18“Now pay attention to the object lesson of the seed being scattered:13:19Some who hear the message of the kingdom don’t understand it, so the evil one snatches away the message from their minds; this relates to the seeds falling along the edges of the path.13:20The seeds that fell on rocky soil relates to those who hear the message and gladly accept it right away.13:21But because they are shallow and have no root, they don’t last long. When the problems and tests of life come along, the message planted in them is quickly sidetracked.

13:22“The seeds falling among thorns relates to those who hear the message, but the anxieties of life and the allure of wealth choke it out, so they produce nothing.13:23But the seeds that fell onto good soil relate to those who hear the message and understand it, so they produce a good crop up to thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times more than what was planted.”

13:24Here is another one of his object lessons: “The kingdom of the heavens is like someone who scattered good seed in his field,13:25but during the night while everyone was asleep, his enemy came and scattered wheat-weeds1 all over the place and went away.13:26So when the grain sprouted and grew, so did the weeds.

13:27“Then the workers went to the owner and told him, ‘Sir, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? So where did these wheat-weeds come from?’

13:28“ ‘An enemy did this!’ he replied.

“ ‘Do you want us to go and pull them out?’ asked the workers.

13:29“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘In the process of pulling the weeds you might accidentally uproot the wheat.13:30Let them all grow up together until the harvest. Then I’ll tell the reapers, “First gather up the weeds and tie them into bundles to be burned, and then gather up the wheat and put it in my silo.”’ ”

13:31Another object lesson he presented to them: “The kingdom of the heavens is like a mustard seed that someone planted in their field.13:32Though it is among the smallest of seeds, it grows to become one of the larger plants. In fact, it becomes the size of a tree, big enough for the birds to build nests in its branches.”

13:33Yet another object lesson he gave them: “The kingdom of the heavens is like yeast that a woman added to three measures of flour, making all the dough rise.”

13:34Jesus said all of these things to the crowd in the form of object lessons; in fact, he never told them anything that wasn’t an object lesson.13:35This was to fulfill that which was declared through the prophet, “I will speak to them using object lessons; I will express what has been concealed since the world was established.”

13:36After dismissing the crowd, Jesus went into the house. Then his disciples came to him and said, “Please explain the object lesson of the wheat-weeds in the field.”13:37So he explained, “The one who planted good seed represents the Human,13:38the field represents the world, the good seed represents the citizens of the kingdom, the weeds represent the servants of the evil one,13:39and the enemy who planted the weeds is the False Accuser. The harvest represents the end of the age, and the reapers represent the Messengers.

13:40“Just as the weeds are gathered and burned, so also will it be at the end of the age.13:41The Human will send out his Messengers, and they will uproot from his kingdom all traps and all who are lawless.13:42These will be thrown into the blazing furnace, where they will lament and grind their teeth.13:43But the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, listen!

13:44“The kingdom of the heavens is like a treasure hidden in a field. When someone discovers it, they cover it up again and then gladly go out and sell everything they have in order to buy that field.13:45Or think of it as a merchant looking for beautiful pearls.13:46When they find a superb specimen, they go out and sell everything they have in order to buy it.

13:47“Yet another way to think of it is like a dragnet thrown into the sea, where it collects all kinds of fish.13:48When it’s full, it’s hauled to shore and they sort the fish, putting the good ones into containers and throwing the bad ones back.13:49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The Messengers will go out and separate the evil from among the righteous,13:50and the evil will be thrown into the blazing furnace where they will lament and grind their teeth.

13:51“Do you understand this now?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

13:52Then Jesus said to them, “So then, every scripture scholar who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of the heavens is like someone who owns a house and furnishes it with both new things and old things from storage.”

13:53After he was finished with the object lessons, Jesus left there and went to his hometown.13:54He taught in their synagogues, and they were astonished: “Where did he get this wisdom and power?13:55Isn’t he the son of the craftsman and Mary? And aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?13:56And aren’t his sisters here too? So where did all this come from?”13:57So they took offense at him, and Jesus responded, “Only in their hometown and among their own relatives is a prophet dishonored!”13:58And he didn’t display much power there because of their lack of faith.

  1. 1“wheat-weeds” means weeds that are very difficult to distinguish from wheat.