Matthew 13:1–23; Acts 18:18–28; Psalm 30; Exodus 19–20

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house oand sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, pso that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And qhe told them many things in parables, saying: rA sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but swhen the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, tthey withered away. Other seeds fell among uthorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some va hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. wHe who has ears,1 let him hear.

The Purpose of the Parables

10 Then the disciples came and said to him, Why do you speak to them in parables? 11 And he answered them, xTo you it has been given to know ythe secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 zFor to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, aeven what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because bseeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, cnor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

dYou will indeed hear but never understand,

and you will indeed see but never perceive.

15  For this people’s heart has grown dull,

and with their ears ethey can barely hear,

and ftheir eyes they have closed,

lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears

and gunderstand with their heart

and hturn, and I would heal them.

16 But iblessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 iFor truly, I say to you, jmany prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 kHear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of lthe kingdom and mdoes not understand it, nthe evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately oreceives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but pendures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately qhe falls away.2 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but rthe cares of sthe world and tthe deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and munderstands it. He indeed ubears fruit and yields, in one case va hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.


Paul Returns to Antioch

18 After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of xthe brothers1 and set sail for Syria, and with him yPriscilla and Aquila. At zCenchreae ahe had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. 19 And they came to bEphesus, and he left them there, but che himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21 But on taking leave of them he said, I will return to you dif God wills, and he set sail from Ephesus.

22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he ewent up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and fwent from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, gstrengthening all the disciples.

Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus

24 Now a Jew named hApollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, icompetent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in jthe way of the Lord. And kbeing fervent in spirit,2 he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only lthe baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when mPriscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him nthe way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wished to cross to oAchaia, pthe brothers encouraged him and qwrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, rhe greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures sthat the Christ was Jesus.


Joy Comes with the Morning

A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of rthe temple.

30  I will sextol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up

and have not let my foes trejoice over me.

O Lord my God, I ucried to you for help,

and you have vhealed me.

O Lord, you have brought up my soul from wSheol;

you restored me to life from among those who xgo down to the pit.1

Sing praises to the Lord, O you yhis saints,

and zgive thanks to his holy name.2

aFor his anger is but for a moment,

and bhis favor is for a lifetime.3

cWeeping may tarry for the night,

but djoy comes with the morning.

As for me, I said in my eprosperity,

I shall never be fmoved.

By your favor, O Lord,

you made my gmountain stand strong;

you hhid your face;

I was idismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cry,

and jto the Lord I plead for mercy:

What profit is there in my death,4

if I go down to the pit?5

Will kthe dust praise you?

Will it tell of your faithfulness?

10  lHear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!

O Lord, be my helper!

11  You have turned for me my mourning into mdancing;

you have loosed my sackcloth

and clothed me with gladness,

12  that my nglory may sing your praise and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!


Israel at Mount Sinai

19 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they pcame into the wilderness of Sinai. They set out from qRephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before rthe mountain, while sMoses went up to God. tThe Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: uYou yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how vI bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be wmy treasured possession among all peoples, for xall the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a ykingdom of priests and za holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.

So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. aAll the people answered together and said, All that the Lord has spoken we will do. And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, Behold, I am coming to you bin a thick cloud, that cthe people may hear when I speak with you, and may also dbelieve you forever.

When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, Go to the people and econsecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them fwash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day gthe Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. hWhoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot;1 whether beast or man, he shall not live. When ithe trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain. 14 So Moses jwent down from the mountain to the people and econsecrated the people; fand they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, Be ready for the kthird day; ldo not go near a woman.

16 On the morning of the kthird day there were mthunders and lightnings and na thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud otrumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp ptrembled. 17 Then qMoses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now rMount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and sthe whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the osound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and tGod answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

21 And the Lord said to Moses, Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord uto look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord vconsecrate themselves, lest the Lord wbreak out against them. 23 And Moses said to the Lord, The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, xSet limits around the mountain and consecrate it. 24 And the Lord said to him, Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people ybreak through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them. 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

The Ten Commandments

20 zAnd aGod spoke all these words, saying,

bI am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

cYou shall have no other gods before2 me.

dYou shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. eYou shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am fa jealous God, gvisiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands3 of those who love me and keep my commandments.

hYou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

iRemember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. jSix days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the kseventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the lsojourner who is within your gates. 11 For min six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 nHonor your father and your mother, othat your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 pYou shall not murder.4

14 qYou shall not commit adultery.

15 rYou shall not steal.

16 sYou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 tYou shall not covet uyour neighbor’s house; vyou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

18 Now when all the people saw wthe thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid5 and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, xYou speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die. 20 yMoses said to the people, Do not fear, for God has come to ztest you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin. 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the athick darkness where God was.

Laws About Altars

22 And the Lord said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: You have seen for yourselves that I have btalked with you from heaven. 23 cYou shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. dIn every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and ebless you. 25 fIf you make me an altar of stone, gyou shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it. 26 And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.