The Sower and the Seed: Thorny Ground

Matthew 13: 7. “And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them.”

It’s a funny thing about thorns, or weeds.  They tend to take on the characteristics of the good plants among which they grow, but eventually they will choke out the good plants and leave nothing but weeds for the harvest. 

I used to do some serious gardening.  I’d plant early crops, like peas and lettuce, then wait eagerly for the first tiny shoots to appear.  At that point, it wasn’t possible to tell which little green plants were weeds and which were peas.  But in a little while, not really very long, the difference would become more obvious. As the peas began to flourish, the imitation was much easier to see, and I’d pull them out without pity.

Have you ever grown tomatoes? If you have, you know about suckers.  These are stems that grow along the main vine, looking exactly like the real thing,  until  you begin to realize that they’re not going to produce any fruit; all they do is drain the life away from the tomatoes. Suckers.  There’s only one remedy. Whack!

Weeds that grow up among carrots look just like the ferny carrot tops when the plants are young. Only a discering eye can tell the difference. When you’re sure, then you pull them and throw them on the compost heap. They’re worthless, and they’ll crowd out the sweet carrots.

The weeds are the lies Satan presents to us; they are the worries and cares of life that, if we aren’t vigilant, will overgrow and kill the good plants, and there will be no fruit. In Christianity, the thorns are the beliefs and practices that turn us from the truth and choke out the good seed. They would include the teaching, for instance, that one must earn his salvation through good works.  Stop to think about that for just a moment.

If it were possible for us to earn heaven through our good works, then Jesus Christ did not need to die.  It is a lie.  It chokes out the good seed, and leaves nothing useful in the field.


2 thoughts on “The Sower and the Seed: Thorny Ground

  1. Steve O.

    I hope I am not overstepping my bounds here but I believe the thorny ground describes a vast majority of Christians in America today. There is not much difference between the thorny soil and the good soil – usually just cultivation. If we were to let our gardens go a week or two without attention, even though the soil is good, it would be overtaken with weeds. If I go for a period of time without being in God’s Word and “pulling weeds” out of my life, the soil looks pretty rough.

    Whenever I have read this parable in the past I have mistakenly thought of myself as the good soil. I think I have the potential to be good soil but my tendencies would be toward the thorny soil.

    My walk with Christ is a daily undertaking or I can go from good soil to thorny soil in a hurry.


    1. Thanks for your response, Steve. I always welcome such comments, and you make a good point. If we keep in mind the overarching theme of Matthew, and understand that these parables have both a present and future meaning, we can’t escape the truth that Christianity is often barren ground because it is simply a part of Christendom, which is full of false teaching and practice. Christendom CONTAINS the true Church, but the Church is not Chirstendom. So while we can take a personal meaning in these parables and apply them as such, we still need to not confuse the dispensational truths presented here to be solely the Church.


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