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Mark 4:6

ESV And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
NIV But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
NASB And when the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
CSB When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
NLT But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn't have deep roots, it died.
KJV But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

What does Mark 4:6 mean?

Jesus' parable about the sower describes various types of people and their reactions to hearing the gospel. The seed thrown on the rocky ground means very shallow soil which cannot nurture the young plant enough to withstand scorching heat. Shallow soil doesn't allow the roots to dive deep for water, which leaves the young sprout vulnerable to the elements.

The seeds sown in rocky ground have no "root in themselves" (Mark 4:17). They are incapable of allowing Jesus' words to absorb deep into their selves because their character is so shallow. They like the idea of Jesus, but their eyes are still on their own comfort. As soon as hardship comes, they seek out another quick fix, and their young faith dies.

This hardship is persecution against those who believe in Christ (Mark 4:17). The Bible tells us that we should expect opposition because of our faith. Paul says, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12). James 1:2–4 says that it is these very hardships that lead to a deeper faith. But faith can only grow if we are willing to be deeply rooted in Christ (Colossians 2:7).

The world loves to keep us shallow. "Fear of missing out" draws us in a hundred different directions at once. We are expected to be well-informed in politics, science, culture, entertainment, and all of our online "friends." We are considered shallow if we don't have a good grasp on all the ways people are suffering around the world and how to properly interact with each and every special interest group.

Jesus' alternative is much simpler. Submit to God. Be rooted in God's love. Understand and embody Christ's love. And be "filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:14–19).
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