Some Stories Jesus told by the Sea
Parables of Jesus
Matthew xiii: 1 to
Mark iv: 1 to 34;
Luke viii: 4 to 18.
Jesus had journeyed through the southern parts of
Galilee, teaching and healing the sick, he came
again to Capernaum; and one day went out of the city
to a place where the beach rose up gently from the
water. There he sat in Simon Peter's boat, as he had
sat before, and spoke to a great crowd of people who
stood on the beach.
At this time Jesus began teaching the people by
parables; that is, by stories which showed the
truths of the gospel. Everybody liked to hear a
story; and the story would often lead people to
think, and to find out the truth for themselves. The
first of these parables or stories that Jesus gave
was called "The Parable of the Sower."
"Listen to me," said Jesus. "A sower went out to sow
his seed. And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the
roadside, where the ground was hard, where some of
the seed was trodden down, and other seeds were
picked up by the birds. Some of the seed fell where
the soil was thin, because rocks were under it.
These seeds grew up quickly, but when the sun became
hot, they were scorched and dried up, because they
did not have enough soil and moisture for their
roots. Other seeds fell among briars and thorns, and
the thorns kept them from growing. And some seeds
fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit,
thirty times as many as were sown, sixty times, and
even a hundred times. Whoever has ears to hear this,
let him hear!" When Jesus was alone with his
disciples, they said to him, "Why do you speak to
the people in parables? What does this parable about
the man sowing his seeds mean?"
And Jesus said to them, "To you it is given to know
the deep things of the kingdom of God, because you
seek to find them out. But to many these things are
spoken in parables, for they hear the story, but do
not try to find out what it means. They have eyes,
but they do not see; and they have ears; but they do
not hear. For they do not wish to understand with
the heart, and turn to the Lord and have their sins
forgiven them. But blessed are your eyes, for they
see, and your ears, for they hear. Listen now to the
meaning of the parable of the sower.
"The sower is the one who speaks the word of God;
and the seed is the word which he speaks. The seed
by the roadside are those who hear; but the evil one
comes, and snatches away the truth, so that they
forget it. The seed on the rock are those who hear
the word with joy, but have no root in themselves,
and their goodness lasts only for a little time.
That which is sown among the thorns are they who
hear, but the cares of the world, and seeking after
riches and the enjoyments of this life, crowd out
the gospel from their lives, so that it does them
but little good. But that which is sown on the good
ground are they who take the word into an honest and
good heart, and keep it, and bring forth fruit in
Another parable or story given by Jesus to the
people was, "The Parable of the Tares":
"The kingdom of God is as a man sowing good seed in
his field; but while people were asleep, his enemy
came and sowed tares, or weeds, among the wheat, and
then went away. When the shoots of grain began to
have heads of wheat then the tares were seen among
them. The servants of the farmer came to him, and
said, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field?
How did the tares come into it?'
"He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.'
" 'Shall we go and pick out the tares from among the
wheat?' asked the servants.
" 'No,' answered the farmer, 'for while you are
pulling up the tares, you will root up also the
wheat with them. Let both grow together until the
harvest; and in the time of the harvest, I will say
to the reapers, 'Take out the tares first, and bind
them in bundles, to be burned; but gather wheat into
my barn.' "
Another parable was that of "The Mustard Seed." He
"The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard
seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. This
is the smallest of all seeds: but it grows up to be
a large bush, almost a tree, so that the birds of
the air light upon its branches and rest under its
Another parable was "The Leaven, or Yeast":
"The kingdom of heaven is like a little leaven, or
yeast, that a woman mixed with dough when she was
making bread. It worked through all the dough and
changed it into good, light bread."
 These parables Jesus told to the people as he
sat in the boat and the people stood on the shore.
But he did not tell them what the parables meant,
for he wished them to think out the meaning for
themselves. After giving the parables he sent the
people away, and came back to the house in the city.
There his disciples said to him, "Tell us the
meaning of the parable of the tares growing in the
Jesus said to them, "The one who sows the good seed
is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good
seed are those who belong to the kingdom of God; but
the tares, the weeds, are the children of the evil
one; the enemy that sowed them is Satan, the devil;
and the reapers are the angels. Just as the tares
are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be
in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send
out his angels, and they shall gather out of his
kingdom all that do evil and cause harm, and shall
cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be
weeping and gnashing of teeth. But the people of God
in that day shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of
And in the house Jesus gave to his disciples some
more parables for them to think upon. He said:
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure which a man
found hidden in a field. He was glad when he saw it,
but hid it again; and then went home and sold all
that he had and bought that field with the treasure
"The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who was
seeking precious pearls. This man found one pearl of
great price. He went and sold all that he had, and
bought the pearl.
"Once more: the kingdom of heaven is like a net that
was cast into the sea, and took in fish of all
kinds. When it was full, they drew the net to the
shore. Then they sat down and picked out the good
fish from among the bad. The good fish they put away
for safe keeping, but the bad fish they threw away.
So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels
shall come, and shall place the wicked apart from
the good, and shall cast them into a furnace of
fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Parables of Jesus