As Jesus went about preaching the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, He did not always find a receptive audience. The problem He faced was that many people were “hard of hearing” (Matt. 13:14-15). To illustrate this problem, Jesus told “The Parable of the Four Soils.” In it, we can see ourselves as we really are concerning how we receive the Word of God in our lives. Therefore, let’s consider the first one, the thorny soil (Matt. 13:7).
According to Jesus, this is the person who “hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Luke 8:14 adds, “the pleasures of life.” This soil represents the distracted hearer of God’s word; those with divided faithfulness and obedience (Matt. 6:24). Therefore, we ask, how do these thorns cause us to be unfruitful?
First, the cares and anxieties of this world can take away our minds from what is truly important (Matt. 6:25-34) which can have a direct impact on our faithfulness to Christ. Additionally, the deceitfulness of riches can turn our attention away from the God and His righteousness. This danger is described by the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 6:9- 10. There we learn that the distraction of “desiring to be rich” or “desiring to have more” can lead to other problems. Finally, pleasures of life can crowd Jesus out of our lives. The Scriptures teach us that earthly pleasures cannot produce true happiness (Ecc. 2). In other words, the main focus of family, educational pursuits, desire for popularity…etc. can come before Christ. In fact, sports, hobbies, recreation, and so on come first for many people today. Yet, 1 Timothy 4:8 declares that “godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
Are you like the thorny soil? If you responded to the gospel at one time, but are becoming too preoccupied with the cares, riches, and pleasures of this world, you will not be able to bear fruit! Do not allow these thorns to choke out the Word in your heart.