It Is Written

In Mark 4, Jesus tells one of His most famous parables, the parable of the sower. In verse 7, Jesus talks about seeds, which represent God’s Word. They were planted among thorns, which choked them and prevented them from bearing fruit. The thorns in this parable are symbolic, so let’s look at what they represent.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul says, “A thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me.” We read that the thorn in this passage represents a messenger of Satan or a demon. What’s interesting is that Paul—who lived a God-centered life, was the greatest apostle of all time and wrote a third of the New Testament—was harassed by a demon. It proves that no matter who you are or where you are in your walk with God, thorns will always try to choke the Word of God out of your life.

When Jesus repeats the parable to the disciples in Mark 4:13–20, He says it a little differently: “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the Word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the Word, making it unfruitful.” In other words, Satan sends thorns our way to steal the Word from us.

That’s why we have to drive out the thorns. Numbers 33:55 says, “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.” If you’re a believer and you want to dwell in the Promised Land, you have to drive the Enemy out. A lot of people think the Promised Land represents heaven, but it actually represents living an overcoming Christian life and fighting against the Enemy so we can live in the land of milk and honey. If we don’t get rid of the Enemy, we’re going to have thorns in our lives that harass us.

What do these thorns look like in your life? Maybe it’s bitterness, unforgiveness, lust, pride or anger. Even if you’re a Christian, these thorns, and the demonic forces they represent, can show up in your life. But God has given us the only tool, His Word, to get rid of the thorns for good and walk in freedom.


Lord, thank You for planting the seed of Your Word in my heart. Reveal to me where thorns choke Your Word and prevent it from bearing fruit in my life, and help me to drive the Enemy out of those areas. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For Further Study

  • Luke 10:17–20; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Revelation 18:1–2
Luke 10:17–20; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Revelation 18:1–2
Robert Morris
Mark 4:7