April 01, 2020 – Wednesday
Matthew 13:20-21 NKJV
20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Above we have Jesus explaining the parable of the sower which began this way 18“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. After our verses above Jesus goes on to explain the seed sown among the thorns and the seed sown on good ground.
It is interesting that verse twenty-one in the original KJV ends with he is offended. It is the same word used in Matthew 11:6 in the NIV when Jesus said to John the Baptist’s disciples Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me from the Greek skandalizō (Strong’s 4624).
We have a very similar meaning here in Matthew 13:21 as in 11:6, people whose faith has not taken root will stumble or be offended when they think they know better than God how something should work out. They will stumble so badly or be so offended as a result that whatever faith they had is lost. This is because as Jesus tells us he has no root in himself and when any amount of tribulation or persecution arises because of the word whatever ‘faith’ he had dissipates.
This is a good point for self-examination concerning our own faith. When tribulation or persecution arises because of our faith in Jesus how do we perceive our selves reacting? Would we stumble or be offended, believing, because of our faith, this (whatever it is) should not be happening if only God would do what I know is best. It is one thing to stumble or be offended temporarily like John or even Peter during Christ’s trail, but quite another thing to really think we truly know better than God what should or should not have happened as if our knowledge or wisdom exceeds His.
As people of faith we know better, for we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28).
Riley D. Driver-Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton