I've always had a strong fascination with the Parable of the Sower, and in all honestly, this article has been a long time coming. I've struggled with putting words on a page because I am so afraid of saying something wrong. So, I would like to note that I am not claiming to have authority or all the right answers, but I am merely sharing what the Lord has laid on my heart as I have studied this parable.
Jesus initially tells the story, and then He goes on to explain it in the following verses. It is a story about how people hear and receive the Gospel.
There are those that hear the Gospel and do not understand. Additionally, there are those who hear the Gospel and receive it with joy. However, they do not have a strong foundation, so they are easily shaken. Then, there are those who hear the word, receive it, but eventually become consumed by the ways of the world. Finally, there are those who hear the word, receive it, and go on to bear much fruit.
Of these four scenarios, the case of the thorns has always caught my attention.
In many ways, I feel like this is the easiest and most common scenario to fall into.
Many Christians, myself included, fall into a habit of seeking comfort from the world's riches.
"As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful." (Matthew 13:22 ESV)
The cares and riches of the world can come in many forms: status, wealth, people's opinions, etc. This list goes on and on.
This is not to say that it is bad to be rich, and it is not inherently evil to have status. The Lord blesses and gives good gifts to His children. However, when we value wealth or prosperity over God's calling on our life, that's when it becomes a problem.
It's so easy to be enamored by the world. It seems simpler to go along with what the world deems as "right."
Riches seem so much more endearing than living a life where we are assured we will encounter persecution and suffering (Matthew 10:16-25).
Yet, the life Jesus offers is fuller and more satisfying than living in a bubble of comfort for all our days.
We drown in a sea of our own selfishness when we choose the comfort of the world's riches over the Gospel.
This passage is so convicting. Most of all, it serves as a reminder to place God's Word above what the world has to offer.
I'd rather waste all that the world has to give than miss God's will for my life.
"For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:25 ESV)