Posted by on Jul 19, 2020 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on Being Active in God’s Kingdom

Dear Lord and Creator….as we consider the words you have for us this day, open our minds and hearts to your need for our work in your Kingdom. Speak to each one of us today and every day.
Amen

We are going to be considering another of Jesus’ parables in our gospel lesson today from Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. The subject of this parable is the Wheat and the Weeds. Yes…this is another of the parables that Jesus spoke to the people. In verses 34 and 35, Matthew explains that Jesus spoke to the people in parables because the truth in the parables were hidden from the people, but not the disciples. The subject of the parables that was hidden was God’s mission on earth. Parables fulfilled what had been recorded in Psalm 78:2.

As in the parable of the seeds we considered last week, this parable is about wheat and weeds. Again, the subject of wheat is a familiar one to the hearers of this parable. Wheat is a stable crop, one that is planted and can be eaten when harvested. It is a crop that not only can feed a family but can be given to other people and offered in the temple.

In this parable, Jesus is talking about the wheat and the weeds that can arise in a wheat field. He not only tells the parable, but later explains the parable to only the disciples for their understanding and to prepare them for their mission.

Jesus begins by saying that the farmer planted the good seed in the field, but an enemy came in at night and sowed weeds in the field. So that when the wheat began to ripen and grow, so did the weeds. The workers in the field asked the owner whether they should take out the weeds. The owner replied “No, if you did that, you would disrupt the wheat. Rather, let them grow together until harvest, and at that time, the separation would occur as the weeds would be taken first and burned.”

That kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? Wait to eliminate the “issues” until it is time for harvest. At the time that Jesus is telling this parable, the landscape of the area was mainly related to family. The wheat would feed the family as well as groups of people. Family was ready-made and, as we spoke of last week, inherited. Enemies would attempt to disrupt and dishonor the family.

Jesus goes on to explain the details of the parable. This information is given only to his disciples as they are the ones who will be speaking to the people they minister to. In other words, it is not public information. The ground on which the wheat is planted represents our hearts. The seed is Jesus and the word of God. This seed gives life to the ground. The field, itself, is the whole world, not the church.

The seed for the weeds comes from the sons of Satan and is planted to look like wheat. In reality, the seeds of the tares (weeds) can look a lot like the wheat. These seeds can be deceptive and the roots can be intertwined…so that attempting to pull the weeds could disrupt the growth of the wheat. The only way that a difference could be determined was at harvest time.

Jesus tells the disciples that at harvest time, the weeds will be gathered up by the angels and burned. Then…the harvest will continue. Jesus, himself, states that the harvest of the weeds by the angels will be at the end times and all causes of sin, as well as the evildoers will be destroyed.

Are you getting the impression that this parable has a great deal of importance for us to consider at this time in our lives? If the world is the field….and the seed that is planted is the word of God and the gifts of Jesus Christ, we are citizens of the field. The ground is our hearts. The Word of God, or the good seed gives us life and hope. We grow as followers of Christ as we read His word and listen to what God is asking us to do.

The devil has also planted his seed in our world. This seed is deceptive as it probably looks just like those God has planted. What do you suppose would show the difference in our world?

How about actions? Remember we have been planted in God’s garden…as part of His creation. The world is not our creation, but God’s creation. We worship God and Jesus Christ…the creator. How can we care for God’s creation? Caring for people? Caring for His world in our actions? Do we treat our world as a part of God…a part of us?

We are all experiencing the seeds of the devil trying to work in our world right now. These seeds are attempting to intertwine their roots with ours to bring us down and forget about the One who gives us life. It appears to me that things are becoming a little urgent about what we do in God’s creation…God’s kingdom.

We cannot leave these issues to “get better on their own”. We MUST take ownership of our lives and do what we can to help God’s creation/world to be successful. It’s hard to know what “someone like me” can really do. But, we need to investigate how we can help grow God’s world and choke the weeds.

The final part of this parable is the destruction of the weeds. This, as Jesus states in the last part of his explanation, will happen when the Son of Man sends his angels at the last day. In that day, the evil will be destroyed and the wheat of God will be rejoicing. The weeds will be judged and eliminated. Jesus ends this parable as he did with the parable about the seeds with the words, “Let anyone with ears listen.”

Yes…it isn’t a cheery parable. This is a fairly dire outlook for the people of Jesus’ time as well as for us. Yet…there is hope. But, it requires that we drown out the words of the weeds, the sons of Satan. It requires that we do what we can for the growth of the wheat that IS God’s word and the love of Jesus for God’s people. We are required to drown out the deeds that cause people to consider turning to what “sounds” good, but is not from our Lord.

How do we do this? Love for each other. Acceptance for all of God’s people. Prayer to find what and where God wants us to work for the growth of his Kingdom and his creation. Do we need to write a letter to someone in “leadership” to convince them that another path needs to be followed?

It’s not an easy job…but it’s one that we are given strength for…direction to follow….

God is with us.

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