Mark 4:1-34 (Gospel of Vic Version, 1999)

And again he began to teach them by the lake and a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into the back of the ute on the edge of the lake and sat in it. All the crowd was on the land facing the lake. 2 And he was teaching them many things constructing images, slogans and stories and was saying to them in his teaching:

3 “Listen! A dispossessed farmer went out to sow. 4 And as he was sowing some seed fell along the highway and the birds came and ate it. 5 And other seed fell upon the gravel shoulder of the road where it did not have much soil and because it had no depth of soil it sprang up straightaway 6 and when the sun came up it was scorched and because it did not have firm roots it withered. 7 And other seed fell among the blackberry bushes on the fence line and the thorny bushes grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. 8 But other seeds fell on the good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding one hundred dollars, one thousand dollars even a one million dollar plus return.”

9 And he was saying,

“The one who has ears, let them hear!”

10 And when he was alone those who were about him with the dissident cabinet were asking him about the imagery. 11 And he was saying to them,

“The secret of the Economy of God has been given to you, but to those who are outside everything exists in manufactured spins on reality, 12 so that they might look and look but not see, and they might hear and hear but not understand, or else they would turn and it be forgiven them.”

13 And he said to them, “

Do you not understand this manufactured spin on reality? How then will you understand all the spins on reality out there? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 These are the ones along the highway where the word is sown; straight- away, when they hear, Satan comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones that are sown on the gravel shoulder; when they hear the word they receive it straightaway with joy, 17 but they have no root in themselves and they do not last very long; then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word they stumble straightaway. 18 And others are the ones which are sown among blackberry bushes; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the concerns of the world and the love of riches and the desire for other things enter in and choke the word and it becomes unfruitful. 20 And those which are sown in the good soil are the ones who hear the word and gladly receive it and bear fruit, one hundred, one thousand and even one million times over.”

21 And he was saying to them, “

Is a footy scarf tucked away in the boot after your team has had a win? Is it not flown proudly from the car window on the way home? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be brought into the open, nor is anything kept secret except to be brought to the light, 23 If anyone has ears let them hear!”

24 And he was saying to them,

“Pay attention to what you hear. T he effort you put into it will be the guts of what you get out of it, and then even more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who gets it, more will be given, but for the one who has no clue even the half clue they do have will be taken away.”

26 And he was saying, “

The economy of God is like this. It is like a person who scatters seed upon the soil, sleeps at night and rises in the daytime, and all the while the seed sprouts and grows, but they do not know how. 28 By itself the soil produces first the stalk, then the ear, finally the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, straightaway they fire up the header because the time for harvest has arrived.”

30 And he was saying, “

How will we compare the economy of God, or what slogan or image shall we use for it? 31 It is like the seeds in a small gum nut, which when sown upon the soil, are the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33 With many such slogans and images he was speaking the word to them as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them without a spin, but when he was alone with his own cabinet he explained everything.

© Marcus Curnow 1999