By Holly Dyer
Life has taken on somewhat of a new meaning to me this week. As I join with my church family to pray for a miracle for our friend and dear sister in the Lord, Stephanie, the fragility of life has been fresh on my mind…
Matthew 13:5-6: Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away.
Later on, when Jesus is alone with his disciples, he expounds on this story to give them insight into his teaching.
Matthew 13:20-21: As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
What is this word?
We know that the written word is the primary means by which we know the word of God and we are blessed among peoples to have such access. But this is not the sole word that Jesus speaks of in this verse. I believe He is speaking of himself…
John 1:1- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
This scripture is speaking of Jesus. The translation for “Word” in Greek, Logos, is the same word used in our parable in Matthew 5. Because there is no root in him, when persecution arises because of the Logos, immediately he falls away. Jesus is telling his disciples that persecution will come their way on account of him. Then he urges them to be rooted.
But what does it mean to be rooted?
The Greek word that is translated “rooted” is rhiza. This Greek word is where we get our English word rhizome- some common examples are iris and ginger. A rhizome is a thick root that according to Wikipedia: “The plant uses the rhizome to store starches, proteins, and other nutrients. These nutrients become useful for the plant when new shoots must be formed or when the plant dies back for the winter.” This root stores the energy that the plant needs to survive. It is its source of life.
What is this root?
Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
There is that same word rhiza, the root of David, the Lion of the tribe of Judah – Jesus Christ himself.
What all this word study says to me is that although many of us hear of Jesus and rejoice in the truth, if we do not dig deeper and if we do not go to the source, Jesus Christ, to sustain us; eventually we will wither away. He is the one on whose account we will be persecuted, but He is also the source to sustain us.
I want to look with you a little further at who this Logos is. John 1 continues in verses 2-4 to tell us about the “Word”…
John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Jesus is the Word, and in him is life- “zoe” in the Greek. The plant in the parable grew up quickly, but because it had no root in the Life (zoe) it did not survive.
What is the life?
In Jesus- Logos-The Word, is life. That life is the light of men.
As I write this, Stephanie, a precious daughter of the King- servant of the most high, dearly loved, gifted, giving, kind and loving- is “fighting” for life in a local hospital.
I had said good morning to her and thought to myself what a joy this sister is moments before it was evident that her life was in jeopardy. I could never have imagined what that day would hold, and yet, He knew. He is the life. Our life. Our zoe.
We are at war, sisters. At war with an enemy that is within and without. But we have already been given the victory. It is Christ. We are battling in prayer for “life” for our friend, and will continue to do so, but her life- “zoe“- is in no danger. We wrestle against flesh and blood, but Jesus has already won the battle. He has beaten death.
Stephanie exudes life. It is so much a part of her that you cannot miss it when you interact with her. That zoe life can never be jeopardized. It is a gift that cannot be taken from her; but she also digs in and seeks out “the Life”. She puts her heart into seeking out Jesus, His life, and roots herself in Him.
Our sister Stephanie has already overcome. No matter the outcome of the next days and weeks, she has overcome because she is rooted in the source of life, Jesus Christ. If you are not rooted in Jesus Christ, please reach out. The women’s ministry team at Heritage would love to hear from you, to know you, to share the life we have with you. Do not content yourself to wither away. May Stephanie’s life continue to be a testimony of the joy of our Lord; may she inspire you to reach out for the source of life, as she does.