His disciples drew nigh to Jesus and asked him, saying: `O Master, tell us the meaning of the parables which thou spakest unto the people.'
Jesus answered: `The hour of prayer draweth nigh; wherefore when the evening prayer is ended I will tell you the meaning of the parables.'
When the prayer was ended, the disciples came near to Jesus and he said to them: `The man who soweth seed upon the road, upon the stones, upon the thorns, upon the good ground, is he who teacheth the word of God, which falleth upon a great number of men.
`It falleth upon the road when it cometh to the ears of sailors and merchants, who by reason of the long journeys which they make, and the variety of nations with whom they have dealings, have the word of God removed from their memory by Satan. It falleth upon the stones when it cometh to the ears of courtiers, for by reason of the great anxiety these have to serve the body of a prince the word of God doth not sink into them. Wherefore, albeit they have some memory thereof, as soon as they have any tribulation the word of God goeth out of their memory: for, seeing they serve not God, they cannot hope for help from God.
`It falleth among the thorns when it cometh to the ears of them that love their own life, whereupon, though the word of God grow upon them, when carnal desires grow up they choke the good seed of the word of God, for carnal comforts cause [men] to forsake the word of God. That which falleth on good ground is when the word of God cometh to the ears of him who feareth God, whereupon it bringeth forth fruit of eternal life. Verily I say unto you, that in every condition when man feareth God the word of God will bear fruit in him.
`Of that father of family, I tell you verily that he is God our Lord; father of all things, for that he hath created all things. But he is not a father after the manner of nature, for that he is incapable of motion, without which generation is impossible. It is, then, our God, whose is this world; and the field where he soweth is mankind, and the seed is the word of God. So when the teachers are negligent in preaching the word of God, through being occupied in the business of the world, Satan soweth error in the heart of men, whence are come countless sects of wicked doctrine.
`The holy ones and prophets cry: "O sir, gavest thou not, then, good doctrine to men? Wherefore, then, be there so many errors?"
`God answereth: "I have given good doctrine to men, but while men have been given up to vanity Satan hath sowed errors to bring to naught my law."
`The holy ones say: "O Sir, we will disperse these errors by destroying men."
`God answereth: "Do not so, for the faithful are so closely joined to the infidels by kinship that the faithful will be lost with the infidel. But wait until the judgement, for at that time shall the infidels be gathered by mine angles and shall be cast out with Satan into hell, while the good faithful ones shall come to my kingdom." Of a surety, many infidel fathers shall beget faithful sons, for whose sake God waiteth for the world to repent.