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Mark 4:30–34

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 fAnd he said, With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like ga grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33 hWith many such parables he spoke ithe word to them, jas they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them kwithout a parable, but lprivately to his own disciples he mexplained everything.

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Mark 4:30–34 — The New International Version (NIV)

30 Again he said, What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

Mark 4:30–34 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. 33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

Mark 4:30–34 — New Living Translation (NLT)

30 Jesus said, How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”

33 Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. 34 In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

Mark 4:30–34 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

30 Then He said, To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”

33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

Mark 4:30–34 — New Century Version (NCV)

30 Then Jesus said, “How can I show you what the kingdom of God is like? What story can I use to explain it? 31 The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32 But when planted, this seed grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants. It produces large branches, and the wild birds can make nests in its shade.”

33 Jesus used many stories like these to teach the crowd God’s message—as much as they could understand. 34 He always used stories to teach them. But when he and his followers were alone, Jesus explained everything to them.

Mark 4:30–34 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

30 And he said, How shall we liken the kingdom of God? or in what parable shall we set it forth? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth, though it be less than all the seeds that are upon the earth, 32 yet when it is sown, groweth up, and becometh greater than all the herbs, and putteth out great branches; so that the birds of the heaven can lodge under the shadow thereof.

33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it; 34 and without a parable spake he not unto them: but privately to his own disciples he expounded all things.

Mark 4:30–34 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

30 And he said, How should we liken the kingdom of God, or with what comparison should we compare it? 31 As to a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth, is less than all seeds which are upon the earth, 32 and when it has been sown, mounts up and becomes greater than all herbs, and produces great branches, so that the birds of heaven can roost under its shadow. 33 And with many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear, 34 but without a parable spoke he not to them; and in private he explained all things to his disciples.

Mark 4:30–34 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

30 Jesus asked, “How can we show what the kingdom of God is like? To what can we compare it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed planted in the ground. The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds on earth. 32 However, when planted, it comes up and becomes taller than all the garden plants. It grows such large branches that birds can nest in its shade.”

33 Jesus spoke God’s word to them using many illustrations like these. In this way people could understand what he taught. 34 He did not speak to them without using an illustration. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

Mark 4:30–34 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

30 And He said: How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground. 32 And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the vegetables, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.”

33 He would speak the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. 34 And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples.

Mark 4:30–34 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

30 He also said, With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

Mark 4:30–34 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or by what parable can we present it? 31 It is like a mustard seed that when sown on the ground, although it is the smallest of all the seeds that are on the ground, 32 but when it is sown it grows up and becomes the largest of all the garden herbs, and sends out large branches so that the birds of the sky are able to nest in its shade.” 33 And with many parables such as these he was speaking the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 And he did not speak to them without a parable, but in private he explained everything to his own disciples.

Mark 4:30–34 — New International Reader’s Version, 1998 ed. (NIrV) (NIrV)

30 Again Jesus said, “What can we say God’s kingdom is like? What story can we use to explain it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed planted in the ground. 32 But when you plant the seed, it grows. It becomes the largest of all garden plants. Its branches are so big that birds can rest in its shade.”

33 Using many stories like those, Jesus spoke the word to them. He told them as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a story. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything.

Mark 4:30–34 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

30 And He said, How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?

31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil,

32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.”

33 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it;

34 and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.