“As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away” (Matthew 13:20-21)
When the sower in the parable was sowing, some of the seeds fell on ground that looked great, but it had rocks just beneath the surface. Those seeds sprouted, and because the rocks prevented them from growing strong roots, they immediately sprang up. But the little plants did not last long. When the sun rose, they were scorched and withered away. They lacked roots that could provide them with water.
Jesus explains that this part of the parable applies to people who are enthusiastic about Jesus’ message, but fall away when they encounter difficulties on account of their faith. Jesus has never promised that following him would be easy. On the contrary, He warned people that discipleship requires self-denial and “taking up your cross”. If we want to receive eternal life, we should be ready to lose our earthly life for Jesus’ sake (see Luke 9:23-24). If we are not prepared for this kind of sacrifices and just expect that our life with God will be a bed of roses, we are in danger of falling away when persecution arises. Then our faith is superficial, it lacks roots.
Have you ever experienced “tribulation or persecution”?