Soon after this Jesus went around the towns and villages announcing the good news of God's kingdom. The twelve disciples went with him, along with a number of women who had been healed from evil spirits and sickness: Mary called Magdalene from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Herod's manager Chuza; Susanna; and many more who provided support from their personal resources.
Once when a large crowd of people gathered, coming from many towns to see him, Jesus spoke to them, using a story as an illustration. A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he scattered the seed, some fell on the road where people trampled on it and birds ate it up. Some fell on stony ground, and once the seeds had sprouted they withered for lack of moisture. Some seeds fell among thorns and as they both grew the thorns choked the plants. Some seeds fell on good earth and after they grew they produced a harvest one hundred times more than what had been sown.” After he told them this, he called out, “If you have ears, then listen!”
But his disciples asked him, “What does this illustration mean?”
10 Jesus replied, “You've been given insights into the mysteries of God's kingdom, but the rest are given illustrations, so that, ‘Even though they see, they don't really see; and even though they hear, they don't really understand.’*
11 This is the meaning of the illustration: The seed is God's word. 12 The seeds that fall on the road are those who hear the message, but then the devil comes and steals away the truth from their minds so they won't trust in God and be saved. 13 The seeds that fall on the stony ground are those who hear and welcome the message with joy but don't have any roots. They trust for a while but when difficult times come they give up. 14 The seeds that fall among thorns are those who hear the message but it's choked out by life's distractions—worries, wealth, pleasureso they don't produce anything. 15 The seeds sown on good earth are those who are honest and do what is right. They hear the message of truth, hold on to it, and through their perseverance produce a good harvest.
16 You don't light a lamp and then cover it with a bucket, or hide it under a bed. No, you put it on a stand, so that anyone who comes in can see the light. 17 For there's nothing hidden that won't be revealed; there's nothing secret that won't become known and obvious.
18 So pay attention how you ‘hear.’ To those who have received, more will be given; from those who don't receive, even what they think they have will be taken away!”
19 Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived, but they couldn't get through the crowd to see him. 20 Jesus was told, “Your mother and your brothers are outside. They want to see you.”
21 My mother and my brothers are those who hear God's word, and do what it says,” Jesus replied.
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let's cross over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set off. 23 As they were sailing, Jesus fell asleep, and a storm came down on the lake. The boat began filling with water and they were in danger of sinking. 24 They went over to Jesus and woke him up. “Master, master, we're going to drown!” they said. Jesus woke up and commanded the wind and the rough waves to stop. They stopped, and all was calm.
25 Where is your trust?” he asked them. Terrified and amazed, they said to each other, “So who is this? He gives commands to the winds and the water, and they obey him!”
26 They sailed across to the Gerasene region that lies opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped out of the boat onto the shore, a demon-possessed man from the town came to meet him. For a long time he hadn't worn any clothes or lived in a house. He lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus he screamed, fell down at Jesus' feet, and asked in a loud voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please don't torture me, I beg you!” 29 For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to leave the man. It had often seized him, and despite being tied down with chains and shackles, and placed under guard, he would break the chains apart and would be driven by the demon into the desert areas.
30 What is your name?” Jesus asked him. “Legion,” he replied, for many demons had entered him. 31 They begged Jesus not to order them to go into the Abyss.§ 32 There was a large herd of pigs feeding on the nearby hillside, and the demons begged him to be allowed to go into the pigs. Jesus gave them permission, 33 so the demons left the man and entered the pigs. The herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake and drowned.
34 When the pig-keepers saw what had happened they ran off and spread the news through the town and the countryside. 35 The people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus they found the man freed from the demons. He was sitting there at Jesus' feet, wearing clothes and in his right mind; and they became scared. 36 Those who had seen what happened explained how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 Then all the people from the Gerasene region asked Jesus to leave because they were overwhelmed by fear. So he got into the boat and went back. 38 The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away. 39 Go back home, and tell people all that God has done for you,” Jesus told him. So he went away, telling the whole town all that Jesus had done for him.
40 A crowd of people was there to welcome Jesus when he returned, all eagerly expecting him. 41 One was a man called Jairus, a synagogue leader, who came and fell at Jesus' feet. He pleaded with Jesus to come to his home 42 because his only daughter was dying. She was about twelve years old.
While Jesus was on his way there, people were crowding around him. 43 In the crowd was a woman who had suffered with bleeding for twelve years. She had spent all she had on doctors, but none of them had been able to help her. 44 She approached Jesus from behind and touched the hem of his cloak. Immediately the bleeding stopped.
45 Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everybody around denied doing so.
But Master,” said Peter, “there are people crowding around you, and they keep pushing up against you.”
46 Someone touched me,” Jesus replied. “I know because power went out from me.”
47 When the woman realized she couldn't go unnoticed, she came forward, trembling, and fell down before him. Right in front of everybody she explained the reason why she had touched Jesus, and that she'd been cured immediately.
48 Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your trust has healed you, go in peace.”
49 While he was still speaking, someone came from the home of the synagogue leader to tell him, “Your daughter's dead. You don't need to bother the Teacher any longer.”
50 But when he heard this, Jesus told Jairus, “Don't be afraid. If you trust, she will be healed.”
51 When Jesus arrived at the house he didn't allow anyone else to go in except Peter, John, and James, and the girl's father and mother. 52 All the people there were crying and mourning for her.
“Don't cry,” Jesus told them. “She's not dead, she's just sleeping.” 53 They laughed at him, because they knew that she was dead. 54 But Jesus took her by the hand, and said in a loud voice, “My child, get up!”
55 She came back to life,* and she got up at once. Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished at what had happened, but Jesus instructed them not to tell anyone about it.
* 8:10 Quoting Isaiah 6:9. 8:18 “Hear”: meaning to listen to God's message and follow it. 8:30 Or “many.” § 8:31 “The depths,” or “bottomless pit.” * 8:55 Literally, “her breath/spirit returned.” The word for breath or spirit is the same.