“The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life‚Äôs worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.”
(Luke 8:14 NIV)
I just read this and thought about how much time I spent this morning during my “quiet time” looking on ebay and B&H at the Canon xti and its accessories.
The worries about my job and what to do, coupled with paying off half my credit card and the pleasures I associate with having a new camera and making tons of money as a photographer all choke off my bible study time, and do I mature? No.
All over the Old Testament, thorns are signs of fruitlessness, sin, and God’s judgement. When Israel was exiled, the walls of Jerusalem were overgrown with thorns. When some of the judges conquered gentile lands, they punished them with thorns, or the unconquered lands were said to be thorns in Israel’s side.
When Adam and Eve were cast out of Eden, the land that used to produce their food grew thorns.
Finally, look at the mockery of Jesus, and what He was crowned with. I think everything that happened in the passion has a sort of hidden spiritual inside joke between Satan and God. Like Barabbas being freed instead of Jesus. Barabbas means “son of the father” so Jesus would have heard the crowd yelling “free the son of the father” and they didn’t mean him. What insult added to injury. Then when the roman guards bowed down and mocked Jesus, what awful mockery that must have been! He deserved to be worshipped, He deserved to be robed and crowned and bowed down too, and it was all done in mockery.¬†
What if just in that moment, Jesus remembered the words His Father told Him to say. “The thorns are life’s worries, riches and pleasure” Aren’t the Roman guards the ones that are really crowned with the misery of worry, riches, and vain pleasure?! Aren’t we the ones who fight and tear and cheat so that we can suffer with worries about protecting our too-many possesions and our cushy lifestyles? They are crowns of thorns. They are burdens to wear. May we cast our cares on Jesus and let Him bear the weight he already bore for us. Let us grow and mature out of the thorns and overshadow them with our branches of peace and contentment and watch worries, riches, and pleasure starve for LIGHT.