Today I want to walk through the 2nd soil in the parable. I think you'll find a surprise in the Word today. For the rocky soil, we are going to read both the parable portion and the explanation. Again I have interwoven the scriptures (see notes below.) The differences are minimal but interesting.
And others (seed) fell upon the rocky places (ground, soil), where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But (as soon as it grew up) when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root (it had no moisture), they withered away.
And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; (they believe for a while) yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, (and in time of temptation) immediately he falls away. Matthew 13:5-6,20-22, Mark 4:5-6,16-17, Luke 8:6,13
You get this, I am sure, from the natural perspective. There is nowhere for the roots to go, so though the plant springs up quickly, it withers and dies when the sun comes daily, and it has no where to go for moisture.
Most of us love a sunny day. When the sun is bright and beating down on me, especially this time of year, when you step outside and feel the warmth of the sun, even in the dead of winter, it is a wonderful sensation.
Jesus seems to have another idea about sunshine.
What constitutes the sunshine in Jesus' story? Affliction, persecution, and temptation! (Kind of put a twist on those old songs, “You Are My Sunshine” and “You Are the Sunshine Of My Life”)
So let’s just think about this for a couple minutes.
Sunshine is completely necessary for growth. It is in fact a very good thing. Therefore affliction, persecution, and temptation are also good things, necessary for our growth. Without them you will never flourish as a believer.
But if you do not have a root system that can supply water to bring the nourishment to meet the sunlight, you might just burst into flames. [Tweet This]
Jesus said it this way
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10 NASB)
But if I am going to burst into flames, it does not sound like a blessing.
It is only a blessing when you are in a Beatitude state of mind with:
- A poor spirit
- Mourning over your sin
- Meek, and submitted to the will of God
- Hungry to see righteousness prevail
- Quick to show mercy
- Pure in heart
- Helping others to find peace with God
These are the ones who will find joy, maybe not giddy happiness, but unshakable joy, in the face of affliction, persecution, and temptation.
Tomorrow we will look at a thorny subject.
See you then
* The 3 passages have been interwoven using colors to show which passage each word originates from. I have not added anything, just pulled from the NASB in each case. Red text is from Matthew, green from Mark and blue from Luke.