When Jesus was explaining the parable of the sower to his disciples (Matthew 13:18-23) he used this phrase, the deceitfulness of wealth, when speaking of those who represent the seeds falling among the thorns. In Matthew 13:22 Jesus said, “The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word making it unfruitful.” This phrase caught my attention as I read through the passage, and I thought it worth a more in-depth look.
I frequently like to refer to The Message to expand a passage. Here’s how verse 22 reads, “The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it.” (I love The Message.) The words deceitfulness and illusions both give indication of something that is not really there. We are lead to think there’s something there, but it is a deception. Here in America, I believe the deceitfulness of wealth hinders us from fully participating in God’s kingdom. Perhaps it is our greatest deception.
I remember, when my youngest daughter returned from a mission’s trip to Mexico, she was deeply impressed by how happy the people were in the village where she stayed. She said to me, “Dad they live in shacks and have nothing, yet they are always cheerful and happy.” It was a great experience for her. She had the opportunity to realize that possessions don’t bring happiness. It’s a deception.
As we celebrate this Christmas season let us not fall subject to the deception that it’s about getting more. We already have what we need, Jesus. We are celebrating God coming to earth, living among us, and giving his life for us. What else could we need? JOY TO THE WORLD! THE LORD HAS COME!