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Verses 20-22. Into stony places. Jesus explains this as denoting those who hear the gospel; who are caught with it as something new or pleasing; who profess themselves greatly delighted with it, and who are full of zeal for it. Yet they have no root in themselves. They are not true Christians. Their hearts are not changed. They have not seen their guilt and danger, and the true excellency of Christ. They are not really attached to the gospel; and when they are tried and persecution comes, they fall—as the rootless grain withers before the scorching rays of the noon-day sun.

Anon. Quickly, or readily. They do not look at it coolly and as matter of principle.

Is offended. That is, stumbles and falls. Persecution and trial are placed in his path, and he falls as he would over a stumbling-block, he has not strength of principle enough—not confidence in God to carry him through them.

The thorns. These represent cares, anxieties, and the deceitful lure of riches, or the way in which a desire to be rich deceives us. They take the time and attention. They do not leave opportunity to think and examine the state of the soul. Besides, riches allure, and promise what they do not yield. They promise to make us happy; but, when gained, they do not do it. The soul is not satisfied. There is the same desire to possess more wealth. And to this there is no end—but death. In doing it, there is every temptation to be dishonest, to cheat, to take advantage of others, to oppress others, and to wring their hard earnings from the poor. Every evil passion is therefore cherished by the love of gain; and it is no wonder that the word is choked, and every good feeling destroyed, by this "execrable love of gold." See 1 Ti 6:7-11. How many, oh how many, thus foolishly drown themselves in destruction and perdition! How many more might reach heaven, if it were not for this deep-seated love of that which fills with care, deceives the soul, and finally leaves it naked, and guilty, and lost!

 See Barnes on "Mt 13:18"


{l} "joy receiveth" Isa 58:2; Eze 33:31,32; Joh 5:35; Ga 4:15

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