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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 9, 2022

The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ


Matthew 13:7

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Mark 4:7

And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.


Luke 8:7

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.


The third type of soil that the Lord discusses in this parable is the soil that is covered in thorns. Jesus further into the parable identifies the thorns that choke out the word from growing and bringing forth fruit as the following: the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, the lust of other things, and the pleasures of this life. This is all matter of fact. Anyone can understand that which the Lord spoke, but consider three other things that are more subtle.


The thorns choked out the seed. Not the seed necessarily, but the plant that grows from the seed. The plants began to grow, but before they could bear fruit they were choked out. The four things that the Lord listed as thorns will choke the life out of the growth of a believer resulting in no lasting fruit.


Notice also, the thorns sprung, sprang, up. They were not planted, planned, or premeditated. They sprang up. The seed was received and began to grow, then something unexpected happened, the thorns sprang up. Oh, they were there all the time, but at the time that the young plant should be growing they sprung up and choked the plant out. The cares of this world are always there, the deceitfulness of riches are always around, lust always lurks, and the pleasures of this life abound. They choke out spiritual growth unto maturity and fruit bearing.


The third subtle lesson of the thorns. They sprang up with it The thorns were there, waiting. When needed they sprang up with the tender plant of growth. Follow the story, a person hears the Word of God (receives the seed), the Word of God begins to make a meaningful difference in that person’s life, that person begins to change in mind, soul, and spirit. Perhaps they stop doing things they should stop, or start doing things they should do. For example, before they were not concerned with the eternal souls of others, now they begin to be concerned about the lost. Enter the thorns. They were there all along, but now they spring into action and choke out the new spiritual growth brought on by hearing the Word of God. This has happened so many times, to so many people, that if able to be counted would be a number so big no one could fathom it. Ask any pastor. They know. Never underestimate the power of the thorns of life.


Yes, the hard, the shallow, and the thorny ground are real, but so is the good ground! Praise the Lord for the good ground! Can’t wait until tomorrow!


Until Next Time,


William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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