Matthew 13:20

ESV As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy,
NIV The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.
NASB The one sown with seed on the rocky places, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
CSB And the one sown on rocky ground--this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy.
NLT The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy.
KJV But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

What does Matthew 13:20 mean?

The parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3–9) is being explained to the disciples by Jesus. The seeds scattered by the sower represent the "word of the kingdom" or teaching about the coming kingdom of heaven. Soil that is hard packed represents those people who are disinterested or hardened against the message, and so it makes no impact at all (Matthew 13:19).

Now Jesus describes what is represented by seed landing on rocky ground. Those seeds immediately sprang up into plants in the shallow dirt above the rocks. They were quickly scorched and withered away when the sun rose. They lacked the roots to provide needed moisture.

Rocky soil represents those who hear the word of the kingdom and hastily receive it, but with shallow or insincere faith. These are the people who like the idea of the kingdom, or want to be included, but only so long as it comes with few consequences. In the following verse, Jesus will show that hard circumstances and persecution cause these marginal followers to fall away. Their emotional decision and lack of commitment is exposed by external pressures.

As with the rest of this passage, scholars differ on whether these categories are directly related to salvation. Since Jesus' most immediate lesson is about the response of Israel to His teaching (Matthew 13:10–17), that seems unlikely. There are clear parallels about how some people respond to the gospel, but separating people into saved or unsaved does not seem to be Jesus' point here.
What is the Gospel?
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