This response of Jesus about the meaning of parables can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:11, and Luke, chapter 8:10, almost word for word, as here in Mark. Mark indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that they had been given the secret mysteries about the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of heaven as in Matthew (Ὑμῖν τὸ μυστήριον δέδοται τῆς βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ). However, this was not granted to those outside this disciple group (ἐκείνοις δὲ τοῖς ἔξω). For them, everything was still in parables or riddles (ἐν παραβολαῖς τὰ πάντα γίνεται). Only those on the inside would understand the parables or riddles, while those outside the inner circle of Jesus would not understand these parables. This was almost like a gnostic interpretation of knowledge, where only the elite insiders had a true secret knowledge about the mysteries of God.
This question to Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:10, and Luke, chapter 8:9, although the others did not make the distinction about the disciples and the 12 apostles as Mark did here. They also never mentioned that Jesus was alone. Mark said that when Jesus was alone (Καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο κατὰ μόνας), those followers of Jesus around him (ἠρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ περὶ αὐτὸν), including the 12 apostles (σὺν τοῖς δώδεκα), asked him about the parables (τὰς παραβολάς). The disciples were confused about the use of parables.
This warning at the end of the sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, in Matthew, chapter 13:8, and in Luke, chapter 8:8, and here. Jesus warned them as he said (καὶ ἔλεγεν) that anyone with ears to hear should listen (Ὃς ἔχει ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω) to this parable. Jesus often mentioned the importance of hearing and listening.
This sower parable about the seeds on good ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, in Matthew, chapter 13:8, and in Luke, chapter 8:8, and here. There is a happy ending to this parable with the seeds that fell on good soil. These other seeds fell on good soil (καὶ ἄλλα δὲ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν). They brought forth or gave good fruitful grain (καὶ ἐδίδου καρπόν). These seeds in the good soil grew up and increased (ἀναβαίνοντα καὶ αὐξανόμενα). Some yielded thirtyfold (καὶ ἔφερεν εἰς τριάκοντα). Others yielded sixtyfold (καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα), while still others yielded a hundredfold (καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν). Luke only listed 100 and never mentioned 60 or 30.
This sower parable about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, in Matthew, chapter 13:7, and in Luke, chapter 8:7, and here, almost word for word. The final group of unsuccessful seeds fell among the thorns (καὶ ἄλλο ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὰς ἀκάνθας). The thorns grew up (καὶ ἀνέβησαν αἱ ἄκανθαι) and choked these seeds (καὶ συνέπνιξαν αὐτό). Thus, these seeds did not give or yield any fruitful grain (καὶ καρπὸν οὐκ ἔδωκεν).
This sower parable about the seeds on rocky ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:5-6, and Luke, chapter 8:6, with Matthew closer to Mark, almost word for word. The second group of seeds fell on rocky ground (καὶ ἄλλο ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸ πετρῶδες). They did not have much soil or good ground (ὅπου οὐκ εἶχεν γῆν πολλήν). They sprang up quickly, even though they did not have much soil depth (καὶ εὐθέως ἐξανέτειλεν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος γῆς). However, they were scorched (ἐκαυματίσθη) when the sun rose (καὶ ὅτε ἀνέτειλεν ὁ ἥλιος). These seeds withered away because they did not have good roots (καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν ἐξηράνθη).
This sower parable can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:3-4, and Luke, chapter 8:5, with Matthew closer to Mark. Mark wanted everyone to listen (Ἀκούετε). They should see that this farmer or sower went out to sow his seeds (ἰδοὺ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ σπείρων σπεῖραι). This first section is about the unsuccessful seeds. The first group of seeds fell on the walking path or the road (καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ σπείρειν ὃ μὲν ἔπεσεν παρὰ τὴν ὁδόν), so that the birds came (καὶ ἦλθεν τὰ πετεινὰ) and ate them up or devoured them (καὶ κατέφαγεν αὐτό). Thus, these seeds were unsuccessful for this farmer.
A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:3, and Luke 8:4. This is the beginning of the parable section in Mark. Jesus taught them many things in parables (καὶ ἐδίδασκεν αὐτοὺς ἐν παραβολαῖς πολλά). This is how Jesus delivered most of his teachings (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ). Parables were one of the many literary forms in the biblical literature. These parables of Jesus can be found in all the synoptic gospels, since they represent about 1/3 of Jesus’ teachings. These simple and memorable stories conveyed important messages, central to the teachings of Jesus. Many of Jesus’s parables refer to simple everyday events. The word “parable” can also refer to a riddle, as it was used in the Old Testament. The use of parables was a natural teaching method that fit into the tradition of the time of Jesus. Matthew has 23 parables of which 11 are unique. There are 2 unique parables in Mark and 18 unique parables in Luke. Matthew and Luke share 4 parables, while Matthew, Mark and Luke share 6 parables. Many of these parables have been subjects of art and literature, especially during the Middle Ages.
A similar statement can be found in Matthew, chapter 13:1, and Luke, chapter 8:4. However, Luke does not indicate where he was, except that there was a large crowd. Mark indicated that Jesus began to teach (Καὶ πάλιν ἤρξατο διδάσκειν) beside the Sea of Galilee (παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν). A great crowd gathered or assembled around him (καὶ συνάγεται πρὸς αὐτὸν ὄχλος πλεῖστος), so that Jesus entered or got into a boat (ὥστε αὐτὸν εἰς πλοῖον ἐμβάντα). He then sat there in the boat (καθῆσθαι) that was in the sea (ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ), while the whole crowd was on the beach shore land near the sea (καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἦσαν). Sitting was the normal way that teachers taught.
Luke, chapter 8:21, and Matthew, chapter 12:48-50, have something similar, but Matthew is closer to Mark, while Luke has a simple concluding statement. Mark said that Jesus made a distinction between his biological family and his new spiritual family. Jesus replied to the person who told him about his relatives (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς αὐτοῖς λέγει). He asked him who his mother was and who his brothers were (Τίς ἐστιν ἡ μήτηρ μου, καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί). He looked at those who were sitting around him in a circle (καὶ περιβλεψάμενος τοὺς περὶ αὐτὸν κύκλῳ καθημένους). He said (λέγει) that they were his mother (Ἴδε ἡ μήτηρ μου) and his brothers (καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοί μου). Anyone who did the will of God (ὃς ἂν ποιήσῃ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ), not his heavenly Father, as in Matthew, would be his brother (οὗτος ἀδελφός μου), his sister (καὶ ἀδελφὴ), and his mother (καὶ μήτηρ ἐστίν). No longer was a biological family important, because there was now a new spiritual faith family of Jesus believers. This idea of a new faith family was common among many religious groups, since their fellow believers were now their new family.