Seeds and Weeds
He who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. - (Matthew 13:22)
When Jesus spoke of the seed that is sown among thorns, He was talking about ground that is embedded with weeds. There were over two thousand types of weeds in ancient Israel, weeds that would hinder the growth of a seed. The little seedlings would be in a constant battle with these life-sapping weeds.
The trouble with a weed is that it doesn’t have an immediate effect; its impact on the plant is more gradual. This is in contrast to seed sown on rocky soil, which shoots up and then falls away. A seed sown among thorns is harder to identify. A person may say, “I am a Christian,” and perhaps you see some changes in his or her life. It will seem like this person is solid.
A few weeks or months go by, and slowly but surely, something happens. As Jesus said, “The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22). It doesn’t happen overnight. This person doesn’t abandon his or her faith instantaneously. It’s something that takes place over a period of time.
Gradually, material things become more important to them than spiritual things. After a while, movies become more important than church. Parties become more important than prayer. Things on earth become more important than treasures in heaven. And slowly but surely, the weeds choke them out. These people were never truly converted; it just looked like they were. And after a little time has gone by, they just bail out.
So how can we tell who the true converts are? By time. Time will tell — time and the visible results in their lives called spiritual fruit.
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