Matthew 13:18 "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."
Today we will focus on the seed that fell on the rocky ground. Jesus tells us that the rocky ground represents the person who hears the word of God, immediately receives it with joy, yet has no root in himself and in times of tribulation or persecution immediately falls away, no longer wants the word of God. There are two words that are important for understanding this passage of scripture. The first is "root". What is the "root" that the person doesn't have in himself? Romans 15:12; Revelation 5:5; 22:16 instruct us that the "root" is Jesus. If Jesus does not dwell in us, we have no salvation and will not be able to stand firm in the word of God when tribulation or persecution comes upon us. Romans 8:9-11 tells us all true believers have Christ the Root in them.
The second word that is important for understanding this passage is "scandalized", which is the Greek word translated "falls away". The word means "to cause to be brought to a downfall in unbelief." Peter is an example of a person that falls away in the time of persecution because he did not have the Holy Spirit or Christ in him to help him stand firm. In Matthew 26:31 Jesus said all would "fall away" when the going got tough. In Matthew 26:33 Peter said he would never fall away, yet Matthew 26:75 records Peter did fall away. However, after Peter was rooted in Christ, he was able to stand firm even when threatened by death (Acts 4:13; 5:29, 41; 12:1-17). Real believers receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, when they believe the gospel (Ephesians 1:13-14). Persecution and tribulation will not cause them to fall away from the faith, the word of God. Jesus tells us that we will experience tribulation in the world, but we are to remain strong because He has overcome the world.
As we sow the seed of the word of God we are not to get discouraged when people immediately receive it with joy, but leave Christ behind when the going gets tough. These people never believed. In Matthew 24:10 we are told that many who claim to be Christians will fall away, betray one another and hate one another when the world hates Christians.
The Apostle Paul encourages us how to live as we sow the seeds of life in the field that God has placed us. "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continually walk in Him, having been rooted and being built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving." Colossians 2:6-7 (Remember to read each scripture referenced.)