Explanation of the seeds among the thorns (Mk 4:18-4:19)

“Others are the seeds

Sown among thorns.

They are those

Who hear the word,

But the cares

Of the world,

The lure of wealth,

And the desire

For other things

Come in.

They choke the word.

It yields nothing.”


καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσὶν οἱ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπειρόμενοι· οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσαντες

καὶ αἱ μέριμναι τοῦ αἰῶνος καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου καὶ αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι εἰσπορευόμεναι συνπνίγουσιν τὸν λόγον, καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται.


This explanation about the seeds among the thorns can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels.  Matthew, chapter 13:22, and Luke, chapter 8:14, have this saying in an abbreviated fashion.  Mark explained that Jesus said that these seeds sown among the thorns (καὶ ἄλλοι εἰσὶν οἱ εἰς τὰς ἀκάνθας σπειρόμενοι) were the ones who heard the word (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ τὸν λόγον ἀκούσαντες).  However, the cares and anxiety of this present world or times (καὶ ἡ μέριμνα τοῦ αἰῶνος), as well as the allure or deceit of material wealth (καὶ ἡ ἀπάτη τοῦ πλούτου), along with the various desires for other things (καὶ αἱ περὶ τὰ λοιπὰ ἐπιθυμίαι εἰσπορευόμεναι) choked or crowded out the word (συνπνίγουσιν τὸν λόγον).  Thus, it yielded nothing (καὶ ἄκαρπος γίνεται).  The thorns were the everyday cares about physical riches and various pleasures that choked off the growth of the seeds or the word.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

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