This is the second kind of soil the seed fell upon in the parable of the sower told by Jesus. Because of the shallow earth on rocky ground the soil warmed quickly and the plant shot up. However, "And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away" (Matthew 13:6).
This is a picture of shallow Christianity. "Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended". For this kind of heart, Christianity is quickly embraced and just as easily let go when it becomes inconvenient. Jesus made a clear distinction between this superficial Christianity and real faith.
As He went about preaching His gospel and performing miracles, "many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did" (John 2:23b). But He knew that many have a faith that does not go deep to the full truth about Himself. It is lacking, shallow. "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men" (John 2:24).
The following Scripture then distinguishes between this nominal faith and true Bible salvation by the example of Nicodemus (John 3). Nicodemus was a religious man, a leader in Israel and trained in the Scriptures. Also, he was convinced by the credentials of Jesus' mighty works that he was "a teacher come from God" (John 3:2b).
Nicodemus, however, fell short of the faith in Jesus Christ that brings eternal life. Jesus told him, "ye must be born again" (John 3:7b). He then showed the man that he had to have the faith of one who realized he was dying in sin and put his trust in Jesus Christ, God's Son as his own Saviour. This is more than just acknowledging a good teacher.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).