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4.2. The Purpose of the Parables

And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them,
"To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that

"they may indeed see but not perceive,

and may indeed hear but not understand,

lest they should turn and be forgiven."

13 And he said to them,
"Do you not understand this parable?
How then will you understand all the parables? 14 
The sower sows the word. 15 
And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 
And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 
But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."
Isaiah 6: 1-13 (Isaiah records this incident "in the year that King Uzziah died" - that is, in BC 740. Things were bad in Judah and Jerusalem at that time and Isaiah is called by the LORD to be his messenger and told that he will have very little success.)
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said:
"Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"
 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said:
"Behold, this has touched your lips;
your guilt is taken away,
and your sin atoned for."
 8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
Then I said,
"Here I am! Send me."
9 And he said,
"Go, and say to this people:
 " ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10  Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed."
11  Then I said,
"How long, O Lord?"
And he said:
"Until cities lie waste without inhabitant,
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste, 12 
and the Lord removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 
And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled."
The holy seed is its stump.

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