A Short Study of Mark 4:16-17
Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
The sower soweth the word.
And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
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: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
In the parable of the sower, our Lord said that the seed sown on stony ground were people who hear the gospel and received it IMMEDIATELY. There were no conflicts, questions, nor doubts. Someone told them about heaven, and they wanted to go there warned them of hell, and they wanted to avoid that; told them that Jesus Christ would take them to heaven, so they accepted the message. They received this good news that they were saved with gladness and went forth saying, “Praise the Lord”, every other breath. They sprang up and made rapid progress in religion, often wondering why older Christians did not match their enthusiasm.
Then came the trials–outward trials, inward trials; for faith will be tried!
Untried faith is no faith at all.
Persecution arose because of the Word. The true doctrines of God’s Word were encountered. Their shallow vessel was taken into deep waters of sorrow, temptation, personal sacrifice and it fell apart.
“Immediately they are offended.”
They took their religion hot from the oven and dropped it just as quickly. Somebody cried, “Believe, believe”, and they were excited and “believed”. Now somebody else said, “Do not believe”, and they have gone that way. They did not stop to count the cost and determine why they should believe, and now they do not count the cost of departing from their profession. The preacher was anxious to take them in at the front door; now they are offended and slip out the back door. Their sudden house built on sand has been washed away.
This is the terror of rushing men and women into a profession of religion. However real Christ is to us, He must make Himself real to them!
By Scott Richardson