As I was reading Mark chapter 10 this morning, I recalled our recent discussion of the four types of soils in Mark chapter 4. It seems to me that one could read this entire book using this framework. In other words, everyone who interacts with Jesus is a particular type of soil. The rich man from Mark 10:17 is one example. He won't follow Jesus because he doesn't want to be separated from his wealth and comfort. (His soil has thorns choking everything else out.)
Using this rubric one could also categorize the Pharisees at the beginning of this chapter. (They are soil on the footpath.) At the end of the chapter there is Bartimaeus. (He apparently represents good soil.) Fairly easy, right?
Perhaps. But then what type of soil do James and John represent in 10:35-37 when they ask Jesus for the privilege to rule at His right and left when he reigns over his kingdom?
Apparently a few thorns are growing up in their good soil! This is an important reminder that even as Christ-followers, we need to be constantly weeding and fertilizing our good soil. But the difficult question is, how can we actually do this? How can we make our life productive and spiritually mature?