"The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
Insights: This person is a simplistic hearer. They make a quick emotional decision that has instant excitement, but no cost counting involved. There is no real significance or depth to their decision. It is marked with a lot of feel good and quick external growth, but nothing is taking place on the inside. There is not true repentance, no true brokenness or contrition. They seem to grow very quickly, but because there is no depth of true salvation, there is no fruit. This type of person is the one who three months after making a profession of faith can no longer be found in the church. Verse twenty-one tells us the reason this person falls away and reveals their true lost condition. Afflictions and persecutions come on this person and they say, “This is not what I signed up for,” and they hit the road. The pressures may actually come from within the church itself. The individual may be pressed to join a Bible study or meet regularly with someone for prayer and all of a sudden the realization that there may be more to this “Jesus thing” comes over them and they bolt. Persecutions can come on them from outside of the church as well. People start to make fun of them for being a Christian or they are criticized and put down for their “new faith.” When this kind of pressure builds they don’t want to be known as some kind of religious freak, so they again run and fall away revealing that they were truly not born again. Remember, the reason Jesus told us these parables were to encourage us. We must understand that when we spread the seed, there are going to be these types of people that “respond” to the gospel and we are not to get discouraged by their true lost condition. We are to continue to minister to them and pray for God to take them to true salvation and depth with Him, but we are not to get discouraged. As a pastor, I have baptized these people and even spent hours trying to disciple them, but there was no true conversion. It is encouraging to know Jesus told me to expect this kind of response from time to time.
- Are you one who has not counted the cost of what it means to be a follower of Jesus?
- Are you willing to ask God to dig deeper into your life in order for you to have roots of faith?
Prayer: Father, may my life show the true depth of growth from a new life in Jesus. Remove the rocks that hinder my growth in You and may my life bring You glory. Amen.