Up till recently, I had spent almost 25 years using a 35-foot deep x 3-foot diameter well. For many years, even with seven of us at home it was sufficient. But a few years ago, supporting two families and a very dry summer, the old well 'went dry' eight times.
For those readers with a constant supply of 'city' water, let me explain. A 'dry' or 'near-dry' well translates into no showers, only wash cloth bathing. It means carrying the clothes to the coin-operated laundry. Don't wash the car or anything else.
What was the problem with my well? It was too shallow. It had no depth to serve as a reservoir.
There is a direct correlation between my old well and some people Jesus talked about in Mark 4:5-6, 16-17. The correlation is based on depth.
A near-literal translation of the passage finds Jesus telling us of a commonly known fact: Some people are like "ground full of rocks". This section of mankind "do not possess much ground" and their "soil is not deep," the text says. They are like my well, not much there to work with.
At this point I see two possibilities that Mark does not answer. Is Jesus speaking of their intellect? I really do not think so, but can not say for sure. Or is Jesus saying they have not placed the "seed" DEEP "in themselves". This would seem to fit the context. I think Jesus is NOT talking about their ability, but about how people prioritize His seed or word.
Seed must be planted deep enough to allow the plant enough root to provide plenty of moisture for transpiration, life processes, and reserve. Plant seeds too shallow and the plant will be tortured by the intense heat of the summer sun. Death by drying is certain.
And remember, all plants will face the heat.
Jesus' explanation of the code talk (parables) said these with 'stony ground' interest will "feel the heat" of peer pressure, opposition, tribulation, being 'between a rock and a hard place', or some type of persecution (according to the Greek word).
Jesus said when these difficult times come, the stony-ground-ers will SKANDALIZO (Transliterated Greek word). (Do we get the English word 'Scandal' from it? Maybe.) They cause a scandal by:
- showing how displeased they are.
- showing how indignantly treated they are.
- showing how they can not be trusted
- promote the distrust of someone who should be trusted and obeyed.
These are worse than the 'hard-hearted' people. They are scandalous because they work against the word.
So who am I? Or, who are you?
PLEASE make sure you plant God's word DEEP. How?
- Read it! Read it! Read it! If you do not read, YOU WILL BE TOO SHALLOW!
- Memorize, memorize, memorize. What did the Psalmist say?
- Think about it. Think about it. Think about it.
What happens when we do? Psa 1:3 says "He shall be like a TREE, PLANTED BY THE RIVERS OF WATER, that brings forth its fruit in its season, WHOSE LEAF WILL NOT WITHER, and whatever he does shall prosper." (NKJV; emphasis mine).
That makes it worth the struggle!