Our Lord’s parable described four different ways we can react to hearing the word of God. By “the word of God” Jesus would have in mind not only the word of the Bible. He would also mean any occurrence that would make you think of doing good things, such as aiding the poor, giving time to prayer, or opening your mind to the truths you have been blocking out.
The four types of ground on which the seeds fall represent four states of mind a person might be in when God calls.
The path where the seed cannot take root represents a non-serious attitude from which meaningful thoughts are brushed aside.
It put me in mind of the Scott Fitzgerald novel “Tender is the Night.” In it a fine young doctor, Dick Divers, was adopted by a hyper-wealthy family, and he was seduced into their drinking and partying way of life. His decline was summed up by a shocked former admirer who said, “Oh, Dr. Divers, you are no longer a serious scientist!” We should not fritter away our capacity to be serious Christians.
The rocky ground on which the seed falls is a thin layer of soil overlaying a rock pan. Seed there springs up immediately, then, they wilt from not putting in deep roots to moisture. We are like that when we go from enthusiasm to enthusiasm, never thoroughly putting God’s inspirations into action.
The ground given over to thorns and weeds describes you if you have vices or addictions that squeeze out any fitful efforts on which you embark.
The ground whose crop is thirty, sixty, or a hundred times more numerous than the scattered seed from which it sprung represents the great amount of good which God inspires all around us. It doesn’t make the gossip columns, but thank God it is there.