Weeds and the Wheat

Sunday’s Scripture –July 19, 2020

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

 

Reflection

Another story that Jesus told is the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat. You can read it in Matthew 13: 24-30. Although this parable is more straight-forward than others, the disciples ask Jesus to explain it, and he does so in verses 36-43.

Perhaps more overtly than any other parable, Jesus addresses the presence of evil, and of an enemy, in the world.

In this parable, the sower is Jesus, the field is the world, and the seeds are the people in God’s Kingdom. Already, we should be thinking about Creation. A good God creates a good world with people made in His Good image.

But, there’s a deceiver, a tempter, a serpent in the garden. And the field has an enemy too. The evil one sows bad seeds and there are weeds that grow up with the wheat.

This wasn’t the plan! We want justice! Let us pull up the weeds now!

But the crux of the parable is verse 29: “No, because while you are pulling up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.”

God is so faithful to the covenant, so steadfast in character, so constant in love that God is unwilling to do anything, even in the name of justice, that might bring harm. So, for the time being, evil is allowed to exist. According to Jesus, and admittedly it’s mysterious, even God’s allowing evil is somehow for our good. All things work together for good. (Rom 8:28) Let that sink in.

But make no mistake. The harvest is coming. The weeds will be uprooted and separated from the wheat. There will indeed be justice.

In the meantime, let the wheat and the weeds grow together.

It’s interesting: while God is always clear on who is wheat and who is weeds, it’s not so clear to us. In fact, the interesting thing about weeds is that some of them look like wheat, especially in the early stages of growth. Only time will tell us who is wheat and who is weeds.

And, who knows? Maybe the longer the weeds are allowed to exist, the more chance they have of being transformed, by God’s grace, into wheat. After all, that’s our story too. Thanks be to God.

Questions

  • How does the reality of evil in the world affect your personal relationship with God? Does it cause you to be more dependent upon God or to doubt God’s goodness?
  • What are some weeds that God seems to be allowing in our world at this time? Can we consider how this might actually be God’s care for us? How might this be so?

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