Home > Hermeneutics > The Parable of the Sower: The third and fourth hearer explained

The Parable of the Sower: The third and fourth hearer explained

Arthur PinkThe third, or thorny-ground, hearer is the most difficult to identify, but the Lord has graciously supplied fuller help on this point by entering into more detail in His explanations of what the “thorns” signify. All three accounts tell us that they “grew up,” which implies that no effort was made to check them; and all three accounts show that they “choked” the seed or hindered the Word. Matthew’s record defines the thorns as “the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches.” Mark adds “and the lust of other things entering in.” While Luke mentions also “the pleasures of this life.” Thus we are taught that there is quite a variety of things which hinder any fruit being brought to perfection — against each of which we need to be much on our prayerful guard. The good-ground hearer is the one who “understandeth” the Word (Matthew 13:23), for unless its sense be perceived it profits us nothing — probably an experiential acquaintance therewith is also included. Mark 4 mentions the “receiving” of it (cf. James 1:21), while Luke 8 describes this hearer as receiving the Word “in an honest and good heart,” which is one that bates all pretense and loves the Truth for itself, making application of the Word to his own case and judging himself by it; “keeps it,” cherishes and meditates upon it, heeds and obeys it; and “brings forth fruit with patience.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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