Parable of the Sower – Part III: Thorny Ground

This week as we continue with the Parable of the Sower, I want to talk about the seed that fell among the thorns.

Matthew 13:7 AMP

7 Other seed fell among thorns, and thorns came up and choked them out.

What are thorns? According to Strong’s Concordance, a thorn is a prickly plant; or a thorny bush.  Thorns are actually a type of branch. Today, we might call them weeds. By definition, a weed is a plant that grows where it is not wanted. It is a plant that was not intentionally sown. And, weeds compete with other plants for water, light, nutrients and space.

Jesus explained in verse 22 that the weeds that have sprung up are worry, self-reliance [getting more] and self-ambition [wanting more]. [The Message –MSG]

So, why do we worry? We worry because we trust in ourselves to work things out instead of trusting God to handle situations in our lives. And, most times we come up short, unable to bring about suitable solutions…and it’s just the mercies of God that steps in and saves us from ourselves. 

Self-reliance is the very thing that got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eve. It also might be called a form of idolatry. Regardless, they thought that they wouldn’t need God any longer if they had His knowledge. They believed God was withholding something good from them and so they allowed themselves to be deceived. Unfortunately, this spirit is still pervasive in the world today and, believers often struggle with it.

Self-ambition drives a majority of our world today. People struggle to get to the top of the ladder only to find out it’s lonely at the top. They often compromise their principles, toss aside meaningful relationships, battle for resources, sometimes using underhanded schemes in their pursuit. When they get to their desired destination, they find that it’s not what they thought it would be. All these weeds (worry, self-reliance, self-ambition) keep the Word from getting properly implanted in the heart where it would otherwise develop roots and grow.

Understand at a deeper level, that aside from the seed being the Word of God, God is also His Word (John 1:1). And, according to 1 John 4, God is love. So, in this scenario, the seed of the Word, which is ultimately God’s love, cannot take root in our seat of our hearts because we do not adequately trust in God’s love for us. And, because we don’t trust, we allow the weeds to take over.

The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the saints at the church in Ephesus:

Ephesians 3:16-18 NLT

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.

If the weeds in your life are choking out the seed of the Word, you’ll need the help of the Lord to uproot these weeds, leaving the seed of the Word intact. Only then can the Word grow and make you complete in Him.

He who has ears to hear, let them hear and heed the Word of the Lord.