In the beginning of mark 4, we read that Jesus began to teach by the sea (again). As we read on, we’ll see that Jesus did this often. Also often, when He taught, He’d teach in parables.
Jesus: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell along…” Jesus later explained the parable:
- The Sower sows the Word (of God)
- The seeds on the path = when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the Word that’s sown in them.
- The Rocky Ground seeds = When they hear the Word, they immediately receive it with joy, but they have no root. So they endure it for a while, but then trouble and persecution arises on account of the Word, and they immediately fall away.
- Seeds among the thorns = These are those who hear the Word of God, but then the cares of the world, the lures of wealth, and the desire for other things choke the Word, and nothing’s produced.
- Good soil = Those who hear the Word, accept it, and bear fruit: 30, 60, and 100-fold.
As I was looking at these different soils, I was wondering if maybe some (if not many) today who claim Christ as their Savior are more of a combination of the Rocky ground and thorns, for they hear and immediately receive the Word with joy, and endure the persecution for a while, but then instead of completely falling away, they decide that they want to keep their faith (or the title of it anyway), but just as according to their own terms. So they fall away due to the persecutions, but also change their stances in order to match those of the world. They believe what the world says about the Bible and God, they focus on the world’s view of success and expect that God will help them achieve it, and change Jesus’ gospel from costly grace and holiness to cheap grace, happiness, and fairness as according to the world’s definition of them.
So the grains continue to grow, yet they are empty of the Word of God.
(For more on this parable, see my post on Matthew’s version titled, “Walking on Water”)
- Every Christian wants to believe they’re a seed which fell into the good soil. Share this parable with others and ask them which one they think you fell into and why. (Insist they be honest)
- If you’ll read my other post, you’ll see that even Simon Peter wasn’t always among the good soil, but possibly one of the others, and as he continued to spend time with Jesus, was later replanted in the good soil, so to say. So if any answer other than “good soil” was given, take time to pray, read the Bible, and examine yourself. Ask Jesus what needs to change in order to be a seed among the good soil.