A Sower Went out to Sow - Part 3
A Sower Went out to Sow
-That Which Fell Among Thorns-
“And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Jesus often taught in parables (as in the verses above). A parable is simply an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. It is a powerful teaching tool because it uses something that is already understand to help us easily understand something similar but not yet understood. This particular parable deals with very foundational issues (God’s word and man’s heart) and is therefore very important. Let’s look at the verses that follow the verses above:
“And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”
Jesus’ disciples were eager to know what this parable meant. I hope that you are just as eager today. Jesus explains the parable in the following verses:
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”
The seed is God’s word. It is a “constant” in this parable (it doesn’t change). What varies in this parable is the place upon which the seed is sown and the result of the seed being sown there. The four different places represent four different kinds of people – and the condition of their hearts. All of them hear the word of God. Today we take a look at the third group….
“That Which Fell Among Thorns”
This group of people allows worldly things to grow along with godly things in their hearts. They “go forth” (they are active) but it is a kind of activity that “chokes” spiritual growth. The godly plant becomes weak because the thorns are robbing it of many of the nutrients that God intended for the use of his plant. As the thorns grow, they block light – hearts and minds are darkened. At this point spiritual discernment is either dying or dead. The plant is in a sad state. The fruit that would have blessed God and man cannot mature.
Now let’s take a look at the three types of thorns: cares, riches, and pleasures.
“And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
It is important to distinguish between worldly cares and that which God says is needful.
“And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”
Riches can be used for good, but they are only temporary and they can be deceitful. When they have our affection, they have become a spiritual detriment.
“But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.”
I Timothy 5:6
It is wonderful to take pleasure in the things that God gives us, but to live in (or live for) pleasure brings death.
Are there “thorns” in our hearts? The longer we let them grow, the
more difficult it is to pull them out. Let’s keep the garden of our hearts
thorn-free. This pleases God and allows him to use us to help others.