Matthew 13:18-35

“Listen! Here is the meaning of the story of the farmer. People hear the message about the kingdom but do not understand it. Then the evil one comes. He steals what was planted in their hearts. Those people are like the seed planted on a path. The seed that fell on rocky places is like other people. They hear the message and at once receive it with joy. But they have no roots. So they last only a short time. They quickly fall away from the faith when trouble or suffering comes because of the message. The seed that fell among the thorns is like others who hear the message. But then the worries of this life and the false promises of wealth crowd it out. They keep the message from producing fruit. But the seed that fell on good soil is like those who hear the message and understand it. They produce a crop 100, 60 or 30 times more than the farmer planted.”

The Story of the Weeds

Jesus told the crowd another story. “Here is what the kingdom of heaven is like,” he said. “A man planted good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came. The enemy planted weeds among the wheat and then went away. The wheat began to grow and form grain. At the same time, weeds appeared.

“The owner’s slaves came to him. They said, ‘Sir, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’

“ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The slaves asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’

“ ‘No,’ the owner answered. ‘While you are pulling up the weeds, you might pull up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the workers what to do. Here is what I will say to them. First collect the weeds. Tie them in bundles to be burned. Then gather the wheat. Bring it into my storeroom.’ ”

The Stories of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

Jesus told the crowd another story. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. Someone took the seed and planted it in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds. But when it grows, it is the largest of all garden plants. It becomes a tree. Birds come and rest in its branches.”

Jesus told them still another story. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast,” he said. “A woman mixed it into 60 pounds of flour. The yeast worked its way all through the dough.”

Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd using stories. He did not say anything to them without telling a story. So the words spoken by the prophet came true. He had said,

“I will open my mouth and tell stories.
    I will speak about things that were hidden since the world was made.” (Psalm 78:2)

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