The Spiritual Meaning of the Thorn Symbol

Do you know the meaning of thorns and thistles in Matthew 16:17-18 (KJV)?

The Bible makes use of countless “types” (symbols, or pictures) that portray hidden truths for us to learn from and be encouraged by. Thorns and thistles are just two of those “types”, used throughout the old and new testament alike, to demonstrate both positive and negative concepts.

Paul wrote this verse concerning his “thorn in the flesh”:

2 Corinthians 12:7 (KJV)
12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through an abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

The “thorn in the flesh” (or “thorn in the side”) phrase is a common metaphor today, indicating some physical annoyance or ailment, usually ongoing. Almost every TRUE Christian living in this day and time has a thorn in their flesh. Why? And what is the meaning of Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”? Based on this verse, could it be possible that a thorn in the flesh could be a good thing, and one to rejoice in? And how is this different from having a thorn in the spirit?

Matthew 7:16 (KJV)
7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

This verse in Matthew 7 uses thorns and thistles to present a simple truth that is expanded on in the surrounding context. Do you know what that truth is? Do you know the meaning of “thorns and thistles” in this Bible verse? Bearing fruit, being fruitful, is to produce something of value, something that can be used as strength and nourishment. Thorns and thistles are certainly not a nourishing fruit!

What can bear fruit (if TRUE), but bear thorns and thistles (if FALSE)?

Find out, in Thoughts on the “Thorn” Type!


See Also:

Our Parable of the Sower series of video presentations expounds on the four types of ground in Jesus’ parable, including THORNY ground:
Parable of the Sower – Part 1
Parable of the Sower – Part 2
Parable of the Sower – Part 3
Parable of the Sower – Part 4
Parable of the Sower – Part 5
Parable of the Sower – Part 6


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