INTRODUCTION

The plight if the tree in Jesus’ parable is a sad one and I was led to write on being rooted in Christ.  The tree or spirit in the parable was a hard one and did not allow the word of God to dwell there. A word search for rooted showed that the word occurred eight times in scripture.  However, rhizoō (G`4492), is the Greek word related to the parable and  occurs only in the following texts:

Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving (Col 2: 7).

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love  (Eph 3: 16, 17)

Rhizoo  means that the believer is established, firm and fixed in Christ. This  comes by the word of God being received and continuously obeyed by the believer. It was through the word that Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego stood firm in their time of testing, God confirming His word with signs following.
There are some other key words in these text. They are built up, stablished, abounding, the faith, strengthened in the inner man,  Christ dwell, grounded. These are the charactersitics of a strong spirit.  Let us examine the word abounding to obtain further understanding of the  writer’s meaning. Perisseuō (G 4052) is the Greek for  abounding and is also used as follows:
  • abound in truth of God (Rom 3: 7)
  • abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom 15: 13)
  • abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Cor 15: 58)
  • abound in liberality  (2 Cor 8 :2)
  • abound in faith, knowledge (2 Cor 9: 8)
  • abound in joy (Phil 1: 26)
  • abound in love (1 Thes 3: 12)
  • abound in pleasing God (1 Thess 4: 1)

THE TREE ON THE ROCK/STONY PLACE WAS NOT DEEPLY ROOTED IN THE TRUTH/WORD OF GOD

Jesus also used the word Petra ( G4073)  or “rock” in the parable as a synonym for the stony place/ground:

And some fell upon a rock (PETRA); and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away  (Lk 8: 6,13).

We need to examine the usage of this word in another parable in order to determine its exact meaning in the parable of the sower. Jesus also used petra to speak about the rock on which a wise man builds his house for maximum security in any wind storm. However, this house did not fall because it was built on the rock:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it (Mt 7: 24-27).

We learnt from the comparison in this parable that anyone who builds on the rock is someone who hears and obeys the word of the Lord.  Luke reported that the winds beat vehemently on this house but it remained because it was built on the rock (Lk 6 48).  The person in the parable of the sower did not build on the sand, but on the rock or truth or teachings of Christ.  However, he/she does not have the word deep in the spirit and is not a strong believer (is easily swayed by and will fall to the  influences that the Lord spoke about).

Let us examine anther scripture in which petra is used.  Jesus used it in Matthew 16:  13-19 to refer to His church being founded on the infallible truth or Word that He is the Christ the Son of the living God:

13 ¶ When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 

 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, aElias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say aye that I am?

  16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the aChrist, the bSon of the cliving God.
 
  17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon aBar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not brevealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this arock I will build my bchurch; and the gates of chell shall not dprevail against it.

 19 And I will agive unto thee the bkeys of the ckingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt dbind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 

HOW CAN THE TREE BECOME ROOTED IN CHRIST?
 
The only way for a believer to grow in  Christ is to grow in the word of God. The word of God strengthens the inner man or the spirit. Jesus explained that the tree on stony ground withered in the heat of the sun because it lacked root (Mt 13: 5, 6).  The word of God provides all of the nutrients and moisture for strengthening of the inner man.
As ministers of the gospel therefore, we need to provide an environment saturated with the word of God for all new believers, taking this  risk factor into consideration. The Lord told me to write that we need to instruct the new believer that persecutions and trials will come because of the gospel. We therefore need to provide a strong support system in the body of Christ for the preservation of the little ones.

 

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