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They have no Root in Themselves

And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time…  (Mark 4:16–17 KJV)

The parable of the sower is a remarkable analogy of how God’s Word works in human hearts. In this parable, Jesus uses the metaphor of a farmer planting seeds in his farmland to describe four ways people respond to the word of God, which He compares to four different farmlands: wayside, stony, thorny, and good. 

Stony ground is the second of the four types of farm grounds; it is a piece of land with some soil and many rocks. When seeds fall on stony ground, they spring up quickly because the soil is shallow. Soon, the stones prevent the young plant’s roots from growing downwards. Jesus says these people “have no root in themselves.”

But who are these plants without roots on stony ground? The root — similar in meaning to the foundation in the analogy of a house — represents obeying or doing what the Word of God says (Luke 6:47-48). The stony ground in this parable is the person who hears the Word of God but does not do what it says. Such people do not plant their lives in the Word of God, and as a result, fall away with the slightest difficulty or pressure. 

Therefore, hearing God’s Word and not doing it is receiving seed on stony ground. Jesus says such people have no root in themselves.

Read more: Rooted and Built Up in Him.

Meditate

What is the symbolic meaning of root in the parable of the sower? How can you test the strength of a plant’s roots according to this parable? See Mark 4:17.

Apply the Word

Doing God’s Word is a crucial aspect of our spiritual lives. It does not always have to be something big, like  Jesus fasting for forty days or Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac. However, most of God’s commands deal with the everyday affairs of life and ministry, such as loving people, loving God, forgiving others, not being anxious. Let your roots grow deep — do what the Word says.

Pray

Ask the Spirit to help you develop the habit of doing what the Word of God has said in the little or big issues of your life. 

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