5-11 Satan Takes Away The Word

Mark 4:15: “And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts”.

Popular Interpretation

Satan is a person who stops us being righteous.


1. If this is so, then there is nothing we can do to stop Satan hindering us; “we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor. 15: 19).

2. “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Ps. 119:11). Jesus showed the power of the Word in overcoming the devil in the wilderness. There is no way that a personal being can be more powerful than God’s Word, otherwise there is no point in God giving us the Word to fortify ourselves - “put on the whole armour of God (e.g. ‘the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God”), that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11 & 17).

3. Satan “coming” does not mean it is a personal being: v. 19 describes “the lusts of other things” - i.e. the true devil - “entering in” , as though they, too, physically moved.

Suggested Explanations

1. It is our giving way to our own evil heart that is the only thing that can stop the Word acting on us as it should. Our lack of effort to apply the Word of God, which springs from our evil desires, is therefore our “Satan”. We are our own Satan (adversary).

2. Matthew 13:19 says that the reason for “Satan” taking away the Word from the hearts of these people is because they do not understand it (Mt. 13:14-15). Thus just hearing the Bible’s message and not bothering to carefully study it is a typical way in which “Satan” - our evil desires - works.

3. See 2-4 “The Jewish Satan” for another approach to this parable.

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