Mark 4:21-41 The Message Bible

A Candle under a Bushel

21  Jesus went on: "Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don't you put it up on a table or on the mantel? 22  We're not keeping secrets, we're telling them; we're not hiding things, we're bringing them out into the open. 23  "Are you listening to this? Really listening? 24  "Listen carefully to what I am saying - and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. 25  Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes."

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26  Then Jesus said, "God's kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man 27  who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows - he has no idea how it happens. 28  The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. 29  When the grain is fully formed, he reaps - harvest time!

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30  "How can we picture God's kingdom? What kind of story can we use? 31  It's like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, 32  yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it."

Jesus' Use of Parables

33  With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. 34  He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots.

Jesus Calms a Storm

35  Late that day he said to them, "Let's go across to the other side." 36  They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. 37  A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. 38  And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, "Teacher, is it nothing to you that we're going down?" 39  Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, "Quiet! Settle down!" The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. 40  Jesus reprimanded the disciples: "Why are you such cowards? Don't you have any faith at all?" 41  They were in absolute awe, staggered. "Who is this, anyway?" they asked. "Wind and sea at his beck and call!"

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