Are We Being Robbed?
There are subtle enemies at work seeking to rob us of our understanding.
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower:
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy,
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Our guest speaker this morning (thanks Steve Kuhl) rightly pointed out that the key to the parable is hearing. Jesus ends the original telling of the story, parable, with the admonition…
He who has ears, let him hear.
It seems to me the key is hearing and understanding. That’s what Jesus makes clear in verse 19. So, what is understanding? I think there are three elements. First, there is hearing. All of the parties involved had hearing; they all heard. Second is seeing. I think Jesus makes that clear in verse 15. What does it mean to ‘see’? I take that to mean that we ‘get it’. We perceive the truth. Third is the heart. When we hear and see and take to heart, we understand.
But, here’s the part that intrigues me. The seed that was sown on the rocky ground, the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, understands, but eventually fails. Why? Because tribulation and persecution robbed him of understanding. The seed sown among the thorns, the person who cares about the world more than the Creator of the world, appears to understand, but the things of the world robbed him of understanding.
Here’s my point. All of us face persecution, hardship, trials. What we do with them makes all the difference. They can either rob us of understanding or deepen our understanding. It depends upon whether we yield to the Spirit or the world. All of us face the temptations of the world. What we do with them makes all the difference. They can either rob us of understanding or deepen our understanding. Don’t let anything rob you of your understanding. Christian, the world, the enemy, even yourself are hard at work seeking to rob you of your understanding. Don’t let it happen. Do battle with sin. As John Owen said, “Be always mortifying sin or it will be killing (robbing) you.”