Some hear the word and at once receive it with joy. They bask in their salvation, they are thankful for Jesus and what He has done. They may go to church regularly too. But Jesus said in Mt.13:20 that if these “joyful” ones have no root, they won’t last long and when the tough times come, they fall away!
The Greek word for “root” is “rhiza” and it means root that strikes deep. In botany, we learn that roots have four major functions. First, absorption of water and inorganic nutrients. Second, anchoring of the plant body to the ground, and supporting it. Third, storage of food and nutrients. Fourth, vegetative reproduction and competition with other plants. So it is the root that gives life to the tree, without it the tree withers and dies.
A believer that has root is someone (like the root) who “absorbs” that which God offers anyone who would draw near to Him, abides in Him and His Word, and who lives in obedience (even though imperfectly) to everything Jesus commanded us. God sees the hearts of those who sincerely and wholeheartedly seek Him and He honours them. Such a believer will be strong and fruitful.
Those who do not have root are the superficial and shallow believers who may have some degree of joy in being Christian but they remain unrooted in God and His Word. Their lives are consequently unaffected by their defective faith. They are unfruitful and they eventually fall away.
Jesus warns us against rootless Christianity and tells us to be rooted in Him.
Jesus said, “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” (Mt.13:20,21)