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Matthew 13:22 meaning...

This verse is part of Jesus' parable of the sower, where he uses agricultural imagery to illustrate different responses to the message of the kingdom of God. In this particular segment, Jesus explains the meaning of the seed sown among thorns, highlighting the challenges and distractions that hinder spiritual fruitfulness. 

The parable of the sower, found in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15, is a well-known teaching of Jesus. In this parable, a sower scatters seeds, symbolizing the spreading of the message of the kingdom of God. The different types of soil represent various responses to this message. Matthew 13:22 specifically addresses the seed sown among thorns.

  • Seed Among Thorns: Cares of This Age and Deceitfulness of Riches

What Was Sown Among the Thorns: Jesus explains that the seed among thorns represents a person who hears the word, indicating an initial reception of the message.

He Who Hears the Word: The individual in focus is someone who has encountered the message of the kingdom, suggesting an exposure to the teachings of Jesus.

The Cares of This Age: The first hindrance mentioned is the cares of this age, referring to the anxieties, worries, and preoccupations that come with the concerns of daily life. These distractions can divert one's attention away from spiritual matters.

The Deceitfulness of Riches: The second hindrance is the lure and deceitfulness of wealth. The pursuit of material success and the allure of riches can lead to a misplaced trust in worldly security, overshadowing spiritual priorities.

Choke the Word: The imagery of thorns choking the word emphasizes the suffocating effect of worldly cares and the pursuit of wealth on the growth and vitality of the message of the kingdom.

He Becomes Unfruitful: The consequence is a lack of spiritual fruitfulness. Despite hearing the word, the distractions and entanglements of worldly concerns render the individual unproductive in terms of spiritual growth and impact.

Significance for Believers: Navigating Worldly Distractions

Matthew 13:22 holds significant implications for believers, offering insights into the challenges of maintaining a vibrant spiritual life amidst worldly distractions.

Awareness of Spiritual Threats: The verse prompts believers to be aware of the potential threats posed by the cares of this age and the allure of wealth. It serves as a cautionary reminder to guard against the encroachment of worldly concerns that can hinder spiritual vitality.

Prioritizing Spiritual Growth: The call is to prioritize spiritual growth over the pursuit of worldly success. While the responsibilities of life are inevitable, the believer is encouraged to maintain a balanced focus, ensuring that spiritual priorities take precedence.

Fruitfulness as a Measure: The concept of becoming unfruitful underscores the importance of assessing one's spiritual life in terms of fruitfulness. Believers are called to bear spiritual fruit, reflecting the transformative power of the gospel in their lives.


1 Timothy 6:9-10: "But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows." This passage underscores the spiritual dangers associated with the pursuit of wealth.

Mark 4:19: "And the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." The parallel passage in Mark reinforces the message, providing additional context and clarity.

Conclusion - A Call to Spiritual Discernment: Matthew 13:22 serves as a call to spiritual discernment, urging believers to navigate the challenges posed by the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches. By recognizing these potential hindrances and prioritizing the word of the kingdom, believers can cultivate a fruitful and resilient spiritual life.

See also: vs 18-19, & 44

Matthew 13:22. “What was sown among the thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”


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