Speaking in parables (as the Scripture foretold of him, and as meet was for the reprobate Jews:) he shows by the parable of the Sower, that in the labours of his Church, three parts of four do perish through the fault of the hearers, (24) and yet, by the parable of good seed and cockle (as also of the Net) that his servants must not for all that, never while the world lasts, make any Schism or Separation. (31) And by parables of the little Mustard seed and Leaven, that notwithstanding the three parts perishing, and oversowing of cockle, yet that fourth part of the good seed shall spread over all the world. (44) And withal, what a treasure, and pearl it is. (53) After all which, yet his own country will not honour him.
THe same day Jesus going out of the house, sat by the seaside. 2And * great multitudes were gathered together unto him, in so much that he went up into a boat and sat: and all the multitude stood in the shore; 3and he spoke to them many things in parables, saying:
Behold the Sower went forth to sow. 4And whiles he sows, some fell by the wayside, and the fowls of the air did come and eat it. 5Othersome also fell upon rocky places, where they had not much earth: and they shot up incontinent, because they had not deepness of earth, 6and after the sun was up, they parched: and because they had not root, they withered. 7And other fell among thorns: and the thorns grew and choked them. 8And othersome fell upon good ground: and they yielded fruit, the • one an hundredfold, the other threescore, and another thirty. 9He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
10And his Disciples came and said to him: Why speak you to them in parables? 11Who answered and said unto them: Because • to you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven: but to them it is not given. 12For he that has, to him shall be given, and he shall abound: but he that has not, from him shall be taken away that also which he has. 13Therefore in parables I speak to them: because seeing they see not, and (a) hearing they hear not, neither do they understand: 14and the prophecy of Esay is fulfilled in them, which says, With hearing shall you hear, and you shall not understand: and seeing shall you see, and you shall not see. 15For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and with their ears they have heavily heard, and their eyes • they have shut: lest at any time they may see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and be converted, and I may heal them. 16But blessed are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear. 17For, Amen I say to you, that * many Prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them: and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them. 18Hear you therefore the parable of the Sower.
19Everyone that hears the Word of the Kingdom and understands not, there comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart: this is he that was sown by the wayside. 20And he that was sown upon rocky places: this is he that hears the Word, and incontinent receives it with joy, 21yet has he not root in himself, but is for a time: and when there falls tribulation and persecution for the Word, he is by and by scandalised. 22And he that was sown among thorns, this is he that hears the Word, and the carefulness of this world and the deceitfulness of riches chokes up the Word, and he becomes fruitless. 23But he that was sown upon good ground: this is he that hears the Word, and understands, and brings fruit, and yields some a hundred-fold, and other threescore, and another thirty.
24Another parable he proposed to them, saying: The Kingdom of Heaven is resembled to a man that sowed good seed in his field. 25But when men were asleep, his enemy came and • oversowed cockle among the wheat, and went his way. 26And when the blade was shot up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. 27And the servants of the Goodman of the house coming said to him: Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? whence then has it cockle? 28And he said to them, The Enemy-man has done this. And the servants said to him: Will you we go and gather it up? 29And he said: No • lest perhaps gathering up the cockle, you may root up the wheat also together with it. 30 • Suffer both to grow until the harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn. ✠
31Another parable he proposed unto them, saying: * The Kingdom of Heaven is like to a Mustard-seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. 32Which is the • least surely of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is greater than all herbs, and is made a tree, so that the fowls of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof. 33Another parable he spoke to them, The Kingdom of Heaven is like to Leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened.
34All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes, and without parables he did not speak to them: 35that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world. ✠
36Then having dismissed the multitudes, he came into the house, and his Disciples came unto him, saying: Expound us the parable of the cockle of the field. 37Who made answer and said to them: He that sows the good seed, is the Son of man. 38And the field, is the world. And the cockle: are the children of the wicked one. 39And the enemy that sowed them, is (b) the devil. But the harvest, is the end of the world. And the reapers, are the Angels. 40Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire: so shall it be in the end of the world. 41The Son of man shall send his Angels, and they shall gather out of his Kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity: 42and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the Kingdom of their Father. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
44The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, did hide it, and for joy thereof goes, and sells all that he has, and buys that field. 45Again the Kingdom of Heaven is like to a merchant man, seeking good pearls. 46And having found one precious pearl, he went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.
47Again the Kingdom of Heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. 48Which, when it was filled, drawing it forth, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the (c) good into vessels, but the bad they did cast out. 49So shall it be in the consummation of the world. The Angels shall go forth, and shall separate the evil from among the just. 50And shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51Have ye understood all these things? They say to him, Yea. 52He said unto them: Therefore every Scribe instructed in the Kingdom of Heaven, is like to a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure new things and old. ✠
53And it came to pass: when Jesus had ended these parables, he passed from thence. 54And * coming into his own country, he taught them in their Synagogues, so that they marvelled, and said: How came this fellow by this wisdom and virtues? 55Is not this the • carpenters Son? Is not his mother called Marie, and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon and Jude: 56and his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence therefore has he all these things? 57And they were scandalised in him. But Jesus said to them: There is not a Prophet without honour but in his own country, and in his own house. 58And he wrought not many miracles there because of their incredulity.
↑ 8. One a hundred.) This difference of fruits is the difference of merits in this life, and rewards for them in the next life, according to the diversities of states, or other differences. Of states, as that the hundred-fold agrees to virgins professed, threescore-fold to religious widows, thirty-fold to the married. Aug. lib. de. S. Virginit. ch. 44. and seq. Which truth the old Heretic Jovinian denied (as ours do at this day) affirming that there is no difference of merits or rewards. Jer. lib. 2 adv. Jovin. Ambros. ep. 82. Aug. her. 82.
↑ 11. To you is given.) To the Apostles and such as have the guiding and teaching of others, deeper knowledge of God’s Word and mysteries is given, than to the common People. As also to Christians generally, that which was not given to the obstinate Jews.
↑ 15. They have shut.) In saying that they shut their own eyes, which St. Paul also repeats, Act. 28, he teaches us the true understanding of all other places, where it might seem by the bare words that God is the very author and worker of this induration, and blindness, and of other sins: * which was an old condemned blasphemy, and is now the Heresy of Calvin: whereas our Saviour here teaches us, that they shut their own eyes, and are the cause of their own sin and damnation, God not doing, but permitting it, and suffering them to fall further because of their former sins, as St. Paul declares of the reprobate Gentiles, Rom. 1.
↑ 25. Oversowed.) First by Christ and his Apostles was planted the truth, and falsehood came afterward, and was oversowed by the enemy the Devil, and not by Christ, who is not the author of evil, Tertull. de præscript.
↑ 29. Lest perhaps.) The good must tolerate the evil, when it is so strong that it can not be redressed without danger and disturbance of the whole Church; and commit the matter to God’s judgement in the later day. Otherwise where ill men (be they Heretics or other malefactors) may be punished or suppressed without disturbance and hazard of the good, they may and ought by public authority either Spiritual or temporal to be chastised or executed.
↑ 30. Suffer both to grow.) The good and bad (we see here) are mingled together in the Church. Which makes against certain Heretics and Schismatics, which severed themselves of old from the rest of the whole world, under pretence that themselves only were pure, and all others, both Priests and People sinners: and against some Heretics of this time also, which say that evil men are not of, or in the Church.
↑ 32. The least of all seeds.) The Church of Christ had a small beginning, but afterward became the most glorious and known Commonwealth in earth: the greatest powers and the most wise of the world putting themselves into the same.
↑ 55. Carpenter’s Son.) Hereupon Julian the Apostata and his flatterer Libanius took their scoff against our Saviour, saying (at his going against the Persians) to the Christians, what does the Carpenter’s Son now? and threatening that after his return, the Carpenter’s Son should not be able to save them from his fury. Whereunto a godly man answered, by the Spirit of Prophecy, He whom Julian calls the Carpenter’s Son, is making a wooden coffin for him against his death. And indeed not long after, there came news, that in that battle he died miserably, Sozo. lib. 6 ch. 2, Theodo. lib. 3 ch. 18. The very like scoff use Heretics that call the body of Christ in the Bl. Sacrament, baker’s bread. It seems indeed to the senses to be so, as Christ seemed to be Joseph’s natural Son, but faith tells us the contrary, as well in the one, as in the other.