Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
We’ve all met people that look good on the outside, but just below the surface there are some real problems. Their outer appearance, dress, the way they talk, and act makes you want to get closer. They seem attractive, friendly, like the kind of person you want dating your child.
Maybe you met them at work, at church, in your community. They seem very friendly, even funny. You start talking and you hit it off right away. You start to get closer, more comfortable with them. You start spending more time with them. You go out together for coffee, for a meal, on a trip. You start having feelings for them, you make commitments to one another. It may even be for years.
And then it happens. Something happens, something is said, something is done. A crack in their outer shell appears. What once looked attractive now looks different. What once looked beautiful looks a whole lot less charming.
The rocky place is not soil with stones mixed in it. The rocky place is a thin layer of soil that covers solid rock. The soil on top looks good, but it hides what’s just below the surface, rock. And this solid rock goes for quite a distance. It’s a blocking barrier to any growth beneath the soil, stopping any and all roots.
Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Jesus explains what these rocky people are like. They’ve had a surface, superficial experience with God and who he is. They show an outer, initial reception and sprouting, but they do not let it down into them. While it shows surface growth and change, they refuse to let it make its way deep down into the utmost corners of their soul.
And how can you know this? Because after the initial experience, after the immediate joy, trouble or persecution always, always, always comes. You can depend on it. Just like sunset and night always follows sunlight and day, trouble always comes roaring in, persecution always comes crashing down.
And when the unavoidable trouble or persecution comes, the rocky people are always tripped up. It’s like they step into a noose, and it yanks their feet from underneath them. They always stumble, their faith always takes a fatal hit.
No matter the source, when rocky people run into problems, they don’t just stop and pause. They don’t even pray. They just leave. They respond to trouble by walking away. Their faith has no depth, no root, nothing to hold it in place.
Maybe they assumed that once they receive Jesus that their lives would no longer experience problems. After all, if Jesus died for me and paid for my sin, then there’s nothing left but happiness and success
But there is something worse than an assumption that everything will be fine. It’s when someone promised that their life would be nothing but joy and blessing
Jesus warned us that this was not the case, at all.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
There are lots of rocky people all around. They’ve made countless commitments to Christ. They raise their hand at every invitation. They come forward over and over. They are all excited and get another new Bible. And for a few days, their life seems better.
But then, something happens, and it all falls apart. They fall apart. Their faith is scorched and withers. What once held promise dies on the vine. Their excitement is replaced with disappointment, discouragement, and defilement.
It was the same seed with the same potential. It was the same seed with the same growth possibility. It was the same seed with the same hope of harvest. The seed was the same, only the soil differed.
Are you really rocky just beneath the surface?
Isn’t it time to open your rocky self, your rocky heart, your rocky life? Now is the time to start the process of moving from being rocky to a child of God.