1 Corinthians 16:12-24
12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but he was not at all willing* to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.
Final Messages and Greetings
13 Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. 14Let all that you do be done in love. 15 Now, brothers and sisters,* you know that members of the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; 16I urge you to put yourselves at the service of such people, and of everyone who works and toils with them. 17I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence; 18for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. So give recognition to such people. 19 The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, greet you warmly in the Lord. 20All the brothers and sisters* send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. 22Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come!* 23The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.*
The Parable of the Growing Seed
26 He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’
The Parable of the Mustard Seed
30 He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet 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.’
The Use of Parables
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.