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Daily Bible Readings

Seeds Planted on Rocks and Paths

Posted by Dan Sullivan on

And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?  The sower sows the word.  And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.  And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.  And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

Mark 4:13–17 ESV Read More

Jesus is breaking down the parable to His disciples. They did exactly what they were supposed to and asked Jesus to explain it to them. As a parable is explained, all of the nuances and connections make sense and explain a much more complex and cosmic thing. 

He says that the seed is the word. The word is complicated because it could simply be the wisdom that Jesus is teaching, or it could be THE WORD that John talks about when he says “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” It seems to have the implications that the word that the sower is sowing is much more than some wise teaching. 

The seed along the path is taken away immediately by Satan. That’s a big deal. So often we can say “I got distracted” or “then I decided to just stay quiet” but we never consider if there is a spiritual war going on. For fear of blaming everything on the devil like some crazy person, some people tend to act like the devil doesn’t even exist. The more experience you have giving out the word, the more you’ll be able to notice when it is taken away by Satan right before your eyes. 

I love it how Jesus doesn’t tell us anything to do about that. He doesn’t say to smack the bird or not sow seeds there. The sower sows and sometimes the seed grows. 

The next seed falls on the rocky ground and Jesus says they receive the word with joy but have no roots. When tribulation or persecution arises because of the word these people wither and fall away. Again, He doesn’t say in the parable that we should throw manure on those people or water to help them grow. The parable just says to keep throwing seeds. 

If there is any admonishment in this without reading too deeply into it, the admonishment is to sow seeds and to consider how you yourself are growing. Be on the lookout for times when some of the word comes your way and before you have a chance to consider it, it is almost snatched away. Whether this is taking notes during a sermon, reading the Bible before Facebook in the morning, or even reading from a paper Bible to avoid distractions, you can do some of this right now today. 

We can also look at the persecutions and tribulations we go through and measure if they are worth giving up the word. Most of the time tribulations only exist in our imagination and they never come to be! If they come true, confidence that God is with us can help us push down roots. Many people that have grown in their faith through hardships will tell you that if they had it to do over again, they would still accept the trials. When we take hold of the growth that God offers in our struggles, we become stronger people, rooted and established in places where only God’s glory can dwell. 

The Apostle Paul said to encourage each other daily, while it is still today. Don’t wait until tomorrow to sow seeds and to let the Word of God be planted in you too. 

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Tags: discipleship, evangelism, gospel, growth, parables, struggle