“The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.” —Luke 8:14 (NLT)
The verse quoted above comes in the middle of the passage commonly known as the “Parable of the Sower,” in which there are four distinct scenarios. In the first, seed falls on the footpath and represents the message that is heard but the devil comes and takes it away before anyone has a chance to believe and be saved. Then we have the seed that falls on the rocky soil. Those who hear the message receive it with joy but they don’t develop any deep roots. As a result, they believe for a while, then fall away when things begin to get tough. We conclude from the scriptures that these first two groups hear the message, but do not become true believers.
The third seed falls among the thorns. The people in this scenario hear the message, but it is crowded out by the cares, riches and pleasures of life. They never mature as believers. This is a sad state, and one many find themselves in today. The enemy loves to distract us. Time is precious and over-filled with activities and responsibilities. When that already crowded time is compounded by the cares, riches and pleasures of this life, Satan achieves his goal and pulls our hearts and minds away from God.
In the parable of the sower and the different soils, Jesus is saying that some people actually hear the message which almost sounds like they are saved. But when He continues with they will “never grow into maturity,” we have to ask ourselves if He’s talking about the believer who never matures to his full potential or a non-believer who given the chance would mature into a Christian.
Most likely, Jesus is speaking of someone who never becomes a Christian. Either way, the point is the same: we must continue to witness day in and day out. Why? Because the fourth seed falls on good soil. This is the seed that develops to its fullest potential and is representative of the people who hear God’s word with their hearts, believe and cling to the truth through thick and thin.
These are the true believers of Jesus Christ.