Reeds and Oaks

Matthew 13: 20 – 21

The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

Here is the second category of people Jesus identified. These are people who listen to a teaching and are immediately overjoyed. Perhaps they went to a conference, heard a guest speaker at church or even read a book. There initial response to the Word they heard is to embrace it gleefully. They are the one’s saying how good the speaker was. The test will be to see if the Word imparted has any effect in their life or upon their life.

These people don’t have deep roots in either God or the Word so when they hear good teaching, they recognize its value but because their foundations are shallow the Word never takes root in them. Every time a guest minister visits, they get excited, but they never mature because they never do anything with the Word they hear. Because they have no roots, as soon as things become difficult, they fall away. This doesn’t mean they are not people of integrity. They just don’t have a root structure. We have had a lot of rain where I live; I mean a lot of rain. Trees are toppling over because their roots just can’t hold them up in this challenging time. That is what this group of people is like. They begin with enthusiasm but since they are not firmly grounded in the Word, any wind which blows can take them out.

They can also be like reeds in the wind, blowing this way and that with every new wind. Compare the reed with an oak tree. The oak is well rooted, firm and sound. It knows its place and sends its roots deep down. It is anchored and solid. You build tree houses in it and tie swings on to it. It strong and dependable.

Strong roots can only grow in good soil. When the Word finds good soil, then it has stability and permanency. It can withstand the gales of affliction and persecution. People who are not well grounded in the Word will falter when the storms blow. We each must be well-grounded in Jesus. Then we will be able to stand strong and firm.