Luke 8. “Other seed fell among thorns which grew up with it and choked the plants.”
Jesus explains in v 14 that these stand for those who hear and presumably have some measure of understanding. But life proves too distracting. The worries and anxieties of life, the accumulation of riches and the pleasures of life prevent the seed from maturing. The plant is choked.
We have all surely met people like this. They do not object to the message, nor do they oppose it. In fact they are rather disposed to accept it. But the seriousness of the message has not gripped them. Life offers too much competition. In the battle between time and eternity, time wins hands down.
A church service here, a church service there, a bible study for two weeks, a business trip for four. A Sunday at church today, be away with the family to a holiday cottage next weekend. This person cannot be relied on for any responsibility within the fellowship because although he pays lip service to the Gospel – he hears it – it is not where his heart is. In his heart are all the toils, struggles, pleasures and gains of life.
Note it is not wrong to enjoy life, to engage in pleasurable activities or to accumulate wealth. In and of themselves there is nothing sinful about this. Furthermore all of us have “worries” as we journey through life. We have family commitments, mortgages and financial obligations to attend to.
But the problems with this particular response to the message of the Kingdom, as Jesus presents it, is that all these things take precedence over God and His Kingdom. Life is simply filled with “stuff” and God, Christ and eternity are blotted out. The plants are choked, they do not mature. There is no Gospel fruit.
So, there are a variety of responses to the Gospel from outright rejection, to shallow professions, to lives cluttered with everyday things that make us too busy for God.
Too busy for God? Yes, maybe!
But none of us will be too busy to die.
Happily, this is not our Lord’s last word.