Home > Hermeneutics > Parable of the Sower: The first and second hearer explained

Parable of the Sower: The first and second hearer explained

Arthur PinkThe first is the “wayside” hearer, whose heart is entirely unreceptive—as the highway is beaten down and hardened by the traffic of the world. The seed penetrates not such ground, and “the fowls of the air” catch it away. Christ explained this as being a picture of one who “understandeth not the word” (though it be his duty to take pains and do so—1 Corinthians 8:2), and the wicked one takes away the Word out of his heart—Luke 8 adds “lest they believe and be saved.” The second is the “stony-ground” hearer—i.e., ground with a rock foundation over which lies but a thin layer of soil. Since there be no depth of earth the seed obtained no root, and the scorching sun caused it soon to wither away. This is a representation of the superficial hearer, whose emotions are stirred, but who lacks any searching of conscience and deep convictions. He receives the Word with a natural “joy,” but (Matthew’s account) “when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” These are they who have no root in themselves, and consequently (as Luke’s account informs us) “for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.” Theirs is naught but a temporary and evanescent faith, as we much fear is the case with the great majority of the “converts” from special missions and “evangelistic campaigns.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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