And others (seed) fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up (with it) and choked them out (and it yielded no crop).
And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word and (as they go on their way), the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches (and the desires for other things) choke the word, (they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life,) and it becomes unfruitful (bring no fruit to maturity). (From: Matthew 13:7,22, Mark 4:7,18, Luke 8:7,14 NASB – see comments below)
Just a bit more on this third soil type.
Friday I started with the thorns, but today I want to start with the results and work backwards.
Thorns are really tricky, because they do not stunt your growth. In drive by mode, the causal observer will look at a plant that is growing among the thorns see no issue with this healthy looking foliage.
It reminds me of the fig tree that Jesus visited the day after His big entrance into Jerusalem.
And seeing a lone fig tree by the road, He came to it, and found nothing on it except leaves only; and He said to it, “No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.” And at once the fig tree withered. (Matthew 21:19 NASB)
Jesus was not just being grumpy. I am told that on fig trees the leave grows after the fig appears to protect the fruit from the sun.
So Jesus came up to the fig tree that showed the signs of maturity, and fruitfulness expecting to receive a harvest, and found none.
The end of the fig tree is rough. In Matthew’s telling it withered ‘at once’ in Mark 11 they are walking by the next day and find it withered from the root.
What I want you to hear beloved, is that unfruitfulness is a big deal, thus these thorns, these distractions, are a big deal. [Tweet This]
I don’t want you to start a door to door search in your life and spend the next 10 hours weeping and bemoaning your unfruitfulness – that would be – well – unfruitful. There is a really simple solution to the thorn (distraction) problem.
In the words of Helen H. Lemmel, written in 1922 (1)
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
See you tomorrow when we see what good soil looks like.
(1) - Lyrics for Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus can be found at http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Turn_Your_Eyes_upon_Jesus/
* 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.