Matthew 13:20, 21 - Are Your Spiritual Roots Shallow Or Deep?

Matthew 13:20, 21 - Are Your Spiritual Roots Shallow Or Deep?

Matthew 13:20-21 (ESV) 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.  

Matthew 13:20-21 (AMP) As for what was sown on thin (rocky) 
soil, this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts 
it with joy; 21 Yet it has no real root in him, but is temporary 
(inconstant, lasts but a little while); and when affliction or trouble or 
persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble 
[he is repelled and begins to distrust and desert Him Whom he ought 
to trust and obey] and he falls away.  

Matthew 13:20-21 (CWR) The people who hear the good news and are 
thrilled by its. 21 but live it only halfheartedly are like the rocky 
areas in the field which have little or no soil. When everything goes 
well in their lives, they're fine; but as soon as life becomes a 
little tough, they forget the whole thing.  

Matthew 13:20-21 (TLB) The shallow, rocky soil represents the 
heart of a man who hears the message and receives it with real joy, 21 
but he doesn't have much depth in his life, and the seeds don't root 
very deeply, and after a while when trouble comes, or persecution 
begins because of his beliefs, his enthusiasm fades, and he drops out. 


The four types of soil represent different responses to God's 
message. People respond differently because they are in different states 
of readiness. Some are hardened, others are shallow, others are 
contaminated by distracting worries, and some are receptive. How has God's 
Word taken root in your life? What kind of soil are you? [Life 
Application SB] 

The parable teaches that there would be four different responses 
to the Word: no response, emotional response, worldly response, and 
fruitful response. [Ryrie SB] 


   The seed sown upon stony ground finds little depth of soil. 
The plant springs up quickly, but the root cannot penetrate the rock 
to find nutriment to sustain its growth, and it soon perishes. Many 
who make a profession of religion are stony-ground hearers. Like the 
rock underlying the layer of earth, the selfishness of the natural 
heart underlies the soil of their good desires and aspirations. The 
love of self is not subdued. They have not seen the exceeding 
sinfulness of sin, and the heart has not been humbled under a sense of its 
guilt. This class may be easily convinced, and appear to be bright 
converts, but they have only a superficial religion... {COL 46.3}   
   The roots of the plant strike down deep into the soil, and 
hidden from sight nourish the life of the plant. So with the Christian; 
it is by the invisible union of the soul with Christ, through 
faith, that the spiritual life is nourished. But the stony-ground 
hearers depend upon self instead of Christ. They trust in their good 
works and good impulses, and are strong in their own righteousness. 
They are not strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Such 
a one "hath not root in himself"; for he is not connected with 
Christ... {COL 47.1}   
   The only hope for these souls is to realize in themselves the 
truth of Christ's words to Nicodemus, "Ye must be born again." "Except 
a man be born from above, he can not see the kingdom of God." John 
3:7, 3, margin.  {48.3}   
   True holiness is wholeness in the service of God. This is the 
condition of true Christian living. Christ asks for an unreserved 
consecration, for undivided service. He demands the heart, the mind, the soul, 
the strength. Self is not to be cherished. He who lives to himself 
is not a Christian.  {COL 48.4}   
   Love must be the principle of action. Love is the underlying 
principle of God's government in heaven and earth, and it must be the 
foundation of the Christian's character. This alone can make and keep him 
steadfast. This alone can enable him to withstand trial and temptation.  
{COL 49.1}   
   And love will be revealed in sacrifice. The plan of 
redemption was laid in sacrifice--a sacrifice so broad and deep and high 
that it is immeasurable. Christ gave all for us, and those who 
receive Christ will be ready to sacrifice all for the sake of their 
Redeemer. The thought of His honor and glory will come before anything 
else.  {COL 49.2}   
   If we love Jesus, we shall love to live for Him, to present 
our thank offerings to Him, to labor for Him. The very labor will be 
light. For His sake we shall covet pain and toil and sacrifice. We 
shall sympathize with His longing for the salvation of men. We shall 
feel the same tender craving for souls that He has felt.  {COL 49.3}  
   This is the religion of Christ. Anything short of it is a 
deception. No mere theory of truth or profession of discipleship will save 
any soul. We do not belong to Christ unless we are His wholly. It is 
by halfheartedness in the Christian life that men become feeble in 
purpose and changeable in desire. The effort to serve both self and 
Christ makes one a stony-ground hearer, and he will not endure when the 
test comes upon him.  {COL 50.1}  

The gospel seed that falls into the hearts of stony-ground 
hearers finds enough soil to germinate, but the soil is shallow and the 
effect of the gospel is at best superficial. The gospel appeals to 
their emotions, and they are quick to react to it, but the impression 
made by it passes with the fickle tide of emotion. The rock of 
selfishness (see COL 46) prevents the gospel from effecting a reform in the 
life. Any effort to serve Christ is so hindered by the fundamental 
purpose in life to serve self (see COL 50) that the gospel has little or 
no influence. Stony-ground hearers habitually follow their 
inclinations. Any convictions that such people may have are based on 
inclination rather than on principle. It is evident that the truth has a 
measure of appeal to them; they admit that it is good; but they love 
themselves. [SDA Bible Commentary] 

   The natural inclination in Christian living is to act on the 
impulse of a good idea. Not every good idea is from God. Sometimes good 
ideas get in the way of God ideas.  
   Where does your inspiration come from? The vision of the 
transfigured Christ inspired Peter: "O Lord, it is good for us to be here. If 
you wish, I will put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses 
and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4). Our natural impulse is to do 
something good for God and suggest it to Him.  
   The tendency of the well-meaning person is to prepare a plan 
to do some good idea, and then pray, "Jesus, this is my plan. It is 
a good plan. It hurts no one, and I want it to please You. Lord, 
please bless my plan." It is plan, then pray.  
   So many of our ideas are impetuous. They are not what the 
Lord wants to do. They do not resemble in any way the things which 
concern Him. We have good ideas, but they are not God ideas. His agenda 
and our agenda conflict. We want to build Him a shelter but that is 
not what He wants.... When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of 
the Lord . . . they abandoned their inventive-but-self-made idea. 
The presence of the Lord magnified, and His holiness brought them to 
their senses. Jesus gained their attention, not by subduing them with 
a stem scolding, but by magnifying His presence until all the 
genius of their human ideas was bleached out by His refulgent face. 
   When they abandoned their good idea and fell facedown before 
the Lord, He could work with them again.... 
   When you and I abandon our good idea and fall to our face 
before me Lord, then He will come and touch us, too. When we pursue our 
own plan He cannot use us. We must abandon our good idea and fall 
facedown before Him. Then He will be able to use us again. Then He will 
reveal what He is doing - a God idea.... It is pray, then plan. Through 
prayer, Jesus instructs of His plan, a God idea. 
   Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea, the good idea 
born of human ingenuity but not of God. Pray, then plan. It is the 
habit of the surrendered saint. (From Walking with Christ in the 
Details of Life by Patrick M. Morley) [Inspirational SB] 

   Jesus wants you to be happy, but you cannot be happy in 
having your own way and following the impulses of your own heart.... Our 
notions, our peculiarities, are wholly human and must not be humored or 
indulged. Self is to be crucified, not now and then but daily, and the 
physical, mental, and spiritual must be subordinate to the will of God. 
The glory of God, the perfection of Christian character, is to be 
the aim, the purpose, of our life. Christ's followers must imitate 
Christ in disposition.... Like Christ is the watchword, not like your 
father or your mother, but like Jesus Christ--hid in Christ, clothed 
with Christ's righteousness, imbued with the Spirit of Christ. All 
the peculiarities given us as an inheritance or acquired by 
indulgence or through erroneous education must be thoroughly overcome, 
decidedly resisted. Love of esteem and pride of opinion, all must be 
brought to the sacrifice.  
   Jesus is our helper; in Him and through Him we must conquer.... 
The grace of Christ is waiting your demand upon it. He will give you 
grace and strength as you need it if you ask Him.... The religion of 
Christ will bind and restrain every unholy passion, will stimulate to 
energy, to self-discipline, and industry, even in the matters of homely, 
everyday life, leading us to learn economy, tact, and self-denial, and to 
endure even privation without a murmur. The Spirit of Christ in the 
heart will be revealed in the character, will develop noble qualities 
and powers. "My grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9) says 
   Beholding Him, you will be changed into the same image. OHC29