Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Matthew 13,18,20
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
The Parable of the Sower
1. On that day after Jesus went out of the house, he sat by the lake.
2. And such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat to sit while the whole crowd stood on the shore.
3. He told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow.
4. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
5. Other seeds fell on rocky ground where they did not have much soil. They sprang up quickly because the soil was not deep.
6. But when the sun came up, they were scorched, and because they did not have sufficient root, they withered.
7. Other seeds fell among the thorns, and they grew up and choked them.
8. But other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.
9. The one who has ears had better listen!”
10. Then the disciples came to him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
11. He replied, “You have been given the opportunity to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but they have not.
12. For whoever has will be given more, and will have an abundance. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
13. For this reason I speak to them in parables: Although they see they do not see, and although they hear they do not hear nor do they understand.
14. And concerning them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: ‘You will listen carefully yet will never understand, you will look closely yet will never comprehend.
15. For the heart of this people has become dull; they are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
16. “But your eyes are blessed because they see, and your ears because they hear.
17. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
18. “So listen to the parable of the sower:
19. When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches what was sown in his heart; this is the seed sown along the path.
20. The seed sown on rocky ground is the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.
21. But he has no root in himself and does not endure; when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away.
22. The seed sown among thorns is the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth choke the word, so it produces nothing.
23. But as for the seed sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word and understands. He bears fruit, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”
The Parable of the Weeds
24. He presented them with another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field.
25. But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.
26. When the plants sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.
27. So the slaves of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’
28. He said, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the slaves replied, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’
29. But he said, ‘No, since in gathering the weeds you may uproot the wheat with them.
30. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, but then gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
31. He gave them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
32. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest garden plant and becomes a tree, so that the wild birds come and nest in its branches.”
The Parable of the Yeast
33. He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of flour until all the dough had risen.”
The Purpose of Parables
34. Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the crowds; he did not speak to them without a parable.
35. This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.”
Explanation for the Disciples
36. Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37. He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.
38. The field is the world and the good seed are the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,
39. and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
40. As the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be at the end of the age.
41. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everything that causes sin as well as all lawbreakers.
42. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
43. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears had better listen!
Parables on the Kingdom of Heaven
44. “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.
45. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.
46. When he found a pearl of great value, he went out and sold everything he had and bought it.
47. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea that caught all kinds of fish.
48. When it was full, they pulled it ashore, sat down, and put the good fish into containers and threw the bad away.
49. It will be this way at the end of the age. Angels will come and separate the evil from the righteous
50. and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51. “Have you understood all these things?” They replied, “Yes.”
52. Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.”
Rejection at Nazareth
53. Now when Jesus finished these parables, he moved on from there.
54. Then he came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and miraculous powers?
55. Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother named Mary? And aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
56. And aren’t all his sisters here with us? Where did he get all this?”
57. And so they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own house.”
58. And he did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
Questions About the Greatest
1. At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2. He called a child, had him stand among them,
3. and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!
4. Whoever then humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5. And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me.
6. “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea.
7. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! It is necessary that stumbling blocks come, but woe to the person through whom they come.
8. If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.
9. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into fiery hell.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10. “See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
12. What do you think? If someone owns a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go look for the one that went astray?
13. And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
14. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that one of these little ones be lost.
Restoring Christian Relationships
15. “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother.
16. But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you, so that at the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established.
17. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector.
18. “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.
19. Again, I tell you the truth, if two of you on earth agree about whatever you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.
20. For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them.”
21. Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?”
22. Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times!
The Parable of the Unforgiving Slave
23. “For this reason, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves.
24. As he began settling his accounts, a man who owed ten thousand talents was brought to him.
25. Because he was not able to repay it, the lord ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, children, and whatever he possessed, and repayment to be made.
26. Then the slave threw himself to the ground before him, saying, ‘Be patient with me, and I will repay you everything.’
27. The lord had compassion on that slave and released him, and forgave him the debt.
28. After he went out, that same slave found one of his fellow slaves who owed him one hundred silver coins. So he grabbed him by the throat and started to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’
29. Then his fellow slave threw himself down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will repay you.’
30. But he refused. Instead, he went out and threw him in prison until he repaid the debt.
31. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were very upset and went and told their lord everything that had taken place.
32. Then his lord called the first slave and said to him, ‘Evil slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me!
33. Should you not have shown mercy to your fellow slave, just as I showed it to you?’
34. And in anger his lord turned him over to the prison guards to torture him until he repaid all he owed.
35. So also my heavenly Father will do to you, if each of you does not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Workers in the Vineyard
1. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.
2. And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard.
3. When it was about nine o’clock in the morning, he went out again and saw others standing around in the marketplace without work.
4. He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right.’
5. So they went. When he went out again about noon and three o’clock that afternoon, he did the same thing.
6. And about five o’clock that afternoon he went out and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day without work?’
7. They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go and work in the vineyard too.’
8. When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and give the pay starting with the last hired until the first.’
9. When those hired about five o’clock came, each received a full day’s pay.
10. And when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each one also received the standard wage.
11. When they received it, they began to complain against the landowner,
12. saying, ‘These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.’
13. And the landowner replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage?
14. Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you.
15. Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
16. So the last will be first, and the first last.”
Third Prediction of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
17. As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve aside privately and said to them on the way,
18. “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the experts in the law. They will condemn him to death,
19. and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged severely and crucified. Yet on the third day, he will be raised.”
A Request for James and John
20. Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling down she asked him for a favor.
21. He said to her, “What do you want?” She replied, “Permit these two sons of mine to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.”
22. Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.”
23. He told them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right and at my left is not mine to give. Rather, it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
24. Now when the other ten heard this, they were angry with the two brothers.
25. But Jesus called them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them.
26. It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant,
27. and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave –
28. just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Two Blind Men Healed
29. As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed them.
30. Two blind men were sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!”
31. The crowd scolded them to get them to be quiet. But they shouted even more loudly, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!”
32. Jesus stopped, called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”
33. They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.”
34. Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.