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Matthew chapter 13

1
On that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.
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Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore.
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Then He told them many things in parables, saying: "Consider the sower who went out to sow.
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As he was sowing, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
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Others fell on rocky ground, where there wasn't much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn't deep.
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But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered.
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Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them.
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Still others fell on good ground, and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times [what was sown].
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Anyone who has ears should listen!"
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Then the disciples came up and asked Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"
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He answered them, "Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them.
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For whoever has, [more] will be given to him, and he will have more than enough. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
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For this reason I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand.
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Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive.
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For this people's heart has grown callous; their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn back-- and I would cure them.
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"But your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears because they do hear!
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For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see yet didn't see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn't hear them.
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"You, then, listen to the parable of the sower:
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When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and doesn't understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path.
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And the one sown on rocky ground-- this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.
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Yet he has no root in himself, but is short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
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Now the one sown among the thorns-- this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
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But the one sown on the good ground-- this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields: some 100, some 60, some 30 times [what was sown]."
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He presented another parable to them: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
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But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left.
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When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared.
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The landowner's slaves came to him and said, 'Master, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?'
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" 'An enemy did this!' he told them. " 'So, do you want us to go and gather them up?' the slaves asked him.
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" 'No,' he said. 'When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them.
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Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I'll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn. '"
31
He presented another parable to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
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It's the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it's taller than the vegetables and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches."
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He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into 50 pounds of flour until it spread through all of it."
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Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables, and He would not speak anything to them without a parable,
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so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled: I will open My mouth in parables; I will declare things kept secret from the foundation of the world.
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Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, "Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us."
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He replied: "The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man;
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the field is the world; and the good seed-- these are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and
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the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
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Therefore just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.
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The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness.
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They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father's kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen!
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"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.
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"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.
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When he found one priceless pearl, he went and sold everything he had, and bought it.
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"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a large net thrown into the sea. It collected every kind [of fish],
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and when it was full, they dragged it ashore, sat down, and gathered the good [fish] into containers, but threw out the worthless ones.
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So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out, separate the evil people from the righteous,
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and throw them into the blazing furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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"Have you understood all these things?" "Yes," they told Him.
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"Therefore," He said to them, "every student of Scripture instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who brings out of his storeroom what is new and what is old."
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When Jesus had finished these parables, He left there.
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He went to His hometown and began to teach them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "How did this wisdom and these miracles come to Him?
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Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't His mother called Mary, and His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
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And His sisters, aren't they all with us? So where does He get all these things?"
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And they were offended by Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his household."
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And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

Matthew chapter 14

1
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus.
2
"This is John the Baptist!" he told his servants. "He has been raised from the dead, and that's why supernatural powers are at work in him."
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For Herod had arrested John, chained him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife,
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since John had been telling him, "It's not lawful for you to have her!"
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Though he wanted to kill him, he feared the crowd, since they regarded him as a prophet.
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But when Herod's birthday celebration came, Herodias' daughter danced before them and pleased Herod.
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So he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
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And prompted by her mother, she answered, "Give me John the Baptist's head here on a platter!"
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Although the king regretted it, he commanded that it be granted because of his oaths and his guests.
10
So he sent orders and had John beheaded in the prison.
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His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother.
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Then his disciples came, removed the corpse, buried it, and went and reported to Jesus.
13
When Jesus heard about it, He withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed Him on foot from the towns.
14
As He stepped ashore, He saw a huge crowd, felt compassion for them, and healed their sick.
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When evening came, the disciples approached Him and said, "This place is a wilderness, and it is already late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
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"They don't need to go away," Jesus told them. "You give them something to eat."
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"But we only have five loaves and two fish here," they said to Him.
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"Bring them here to Me," He said.
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Then He commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples [gave them] to the crowds.
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Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked up 12 baskets full of leftover pieces!
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Now those who ate were about 5,000 men, besides women and children.
22
Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds.
23
After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.
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But the boat was already over a mile from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them.
25
Around three in the morning, He came toward them walking on the sea.
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When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. "It's a ghost!" they said, and cried out in fear.
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Immediately Jesus spoke to them. "Have courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
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"Lord, if it's You," Peter answered Him, "command me to come to You on the water."
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"Come!" He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.
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But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me!"
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Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
32
When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
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Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said, "Truly You are the Son of God!"
34
Once they crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
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When the men of that place recognized Him, they alerted the whole vicinity and brought to Him all who were sick.
36
They were begging Him that they might only touch the tassel on His robe. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.

Matthew chapter 15

1
Then Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked,
2
"Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat!"
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He answered them, "And why do you break God's commandment because of your tradition?
4
For God said: Honor your father and your mother; and, The one who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.
5
But you say, 'Whoever tells his father or mother, "Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift [committed to the temple]"--
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he does not have to honor his father.' In this way, you have revoked God's word because of your tradition.
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Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said:
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These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
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They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men."
10
Summoning the crowd, He told them, "Listen and understand:
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It's not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."
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Then the disciples came up and told Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this statement?"
13
He replied, "Every plant that My heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted.
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Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit."
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Then Peter replied to Him, "Explain this parable to us."
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"Are even you still lacking in understanding?" He asked.
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"Don't you realize that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated?
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But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man.
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For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.
20
These are the things that defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a man."
21
When Jesus left there, He withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon.
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Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by a demon."
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Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples approached Him and urged Him, "Send her away because she cries out after us."
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He replied, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
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But she came, knelt before Him, and said, "Lord, help me!"
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He answered, "It isn't right to take the children's bread and throw it to their dogs."
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"Yes, Lord," she said, "yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table!"
28
Then Jesus replied to her, "Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want." And from that moment her daughter was cured.
29
Moving on from there, Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee. He went up on a mountain and sat there,
30
and large crowds came to Him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, those unable to speak, and many others. They put them at His feet, and He healed them.
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So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the deformed restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they gave glory to the God of Israel.
32
Now Jesus summoned His disciples and said, "I have compassion on the crowd, because they've already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry; otherwise they might collapse on the way."
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The disciples said to Him, "Where could we get enough bread in this desolate place to fill such a crowd?"
34
"How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked them. "Seven," they said, "and a few small fish."
35
After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground,
36
He took the seven loaves and the fish, and He gave thanks, broke them, and kept on giving them to the disciples, and the disciples [gave them] to the crowds.
37
They all ate and were filled. Then they collected the leftover pieces-- seven large baskets full.
38
Now those who ate were 4,000 men, besides women and children.
39
After dismissing the crowds, He got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.