In my study about the word ‘offended’ and its contexts in the scriptures, I came upon this parable of the sower beginning with Mark 4:3.
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Later, Jesus explains the meaning of the parable to the disciples on Mark 4:
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive [it], and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
One of the two learnings I got from the passage:
That there are 3 enemies as long as you’re alive; the other one is that your heart can be in 3 conditions while the word of God is being revealed to all. I will post the other one later, for now, notice we got 3 enemies in life as we speak…
a.) The devil – when seeds fall in the wayside and not the heart of the garden, this enemy is quick to snatch the message up and its gone. Hearing the sermon in church dont sink in, reading a verse printed on paper or a verse posted on facebook dont seem to mean anything after being distracted by the next person next to you. Your life goes on for the worse. The result is prolonged bondage to sin and it continues as usual in your life. Be reminded of this and know that the enemy always finds something to throw in our way, to divert us from knowing the truth. False teachings and half truths are all over, waves and waves of doctrine, lies dressing themselves up as “traditions”. Not reading the Word of God or understanding it spells the difference between ‘true’ (Bible -believing) and “plain” Christians. Ask the Lord to reveal the Truth to you and He will freely give it see James 1:5.
b.) The world and its ways – when seeds fall among thorns or weeds. These are the cares that gets us anxious, excited, emotional; the deception of having the ability to have anything; and the desires we have for “stuff” that keeps us feeling “OK” and “fulfilled”. They choke the word and leave us empty, dissatisfied and miserable. Though we were “touched” by the spiritual lesson or encounter we just had, these “distractions” are always in the way and we notice we have a very short endurance span and forget to strengthen ourselves in the one true source of Peace, the Lord God. The result is: we bear no fruit – complacent Christians, “no changes” (same old-same old) stagnant for years just like the servant who buried his master’s money on the ground for fear see Mathew 25:14-25. Fruit-less Christians – this type of Christianity or ‘godliness’ will be ‘cut off’ (John 15:2).
c.) The flesh (within you) – when seeds fall on stoney ground. Notice how the emphasis on the stone. It shows hardness and though its got soil or ground, its shallow and doesn’t promote real growth. We are so engrossed upon receiving God’s message, but since we rely on emotions and self will, we don’t ask God to soften our hearts and put His message deep within it, our roots don’t grow. Later when difficulties in life or persecution arise, when we are challenged in our faith we get offended, we get upset and even give up. Imagine yourself as a wilted plant whose roots didn’t have enough soil to grow into. The result is: discouragement and falling back to sin, as evident from the historical cycles that persist in our life be it in our relationships with parents, husband, wife, kids, friends, your boss or people in authority over you, co-workers and customers; in your choices; finances; careers; businesses; even health, injuries, driving habits, bad decisions here and there and the like…
Lastly, the passage says in verse 9 – ‘to him who has ears to hear, let him hear’. Please dont have this lesson land on the wayside. God bless your heart and may He cultivate this seed for growth.