1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 A large crowd gathered around him. So he got into a boat and sat down. All the people stayed on the shore. 3 Then Jesus used stories to teach them many things. He told them this story: “A farmer went out to sow seed. 4 While he was scattering the seed, some of it fell by the road. The birds came and ate all that seed. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where there was not enough dirt. It grew very fast there, because the soil was not deep. 6 But when the sun rose, it burned the plants. The plants died because they did not have deep roots. 7 Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and stopped the good plants from growing. 8 But some of the seed fell on good ground. There it grew and made grain. Some plants made 100 times more grain, some 60 times more, and some 30 times more. 9 You people who hear me, listen!”
10 The followers came to Jesus and asked, “Why do you use these stories to teach the people?” 11 Jesus answered, “Only you can know the secret truths about God’s kingdom. Those other people cannot know these secret truths. 12 The people who have some understanding will be given more. And they will have even more than they need, but those who do not have much understanding will lose even the little understanding that they have. 13 This is why I use these stories to teach the people: They see, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really hear or understand.
14 So they show that what Isaiah said about them is true:
‘You people will listen and listen,
but you will not understand.
You will look and look,
but you will not really see.
15 Yes, the minds of these people are now closed.
They have ears, but they don’t listen.
They have eyes, but they refuse to see.
If their minds were not closed,
they might see with their eyes;
they might hear with their ears;
they might understand with their minds.
Then they might turn back to me and be healed.’
16 But God has blessed you. You understand what you see with your eyes. And you understand what you hear with your ears. 17 I can assure you, many prophets and godly people wanted to see what you now see. But they did not see it. And many prophets and godly people wanted to hear what you now hear. But they did not hear it. 18 “So listen to the meaning of that story about the farmer: 19 “What about the seed that fell by the road? That is like the people who hear the teaching about God’s kingdom but do not understand it. The Evil One comes and takes away what was planted in their hearts.20 “And what about the seed that fell on rocky ground? That is like the people who hear the teaching and quickly and gladly accept it. 21 But they do not let the teaching go deep into their lives. They keep it only a short time. As soon as trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up.22 “And what about the seed that fell among the thorny weeds? That is like the people who hear the teaching but let worries about this life and love for money stop it from growing. So it does not produce a crop in their lives. 23 “But what about the seed that fell on the good ground? That is like the people who hear the teaching and understand it. They grow and produce a good crop, sometimes 100 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 30 times more.”
Source: The Bible Gateway (ERV)