Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Parable of the Weeds (Matthew 13: 24-30 &36-43)

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’  “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.  “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’  “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”  Matthew 13: 24-30

Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.   “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Matthew 13:  36-43

At the surface
This is such a perfect and simple story.  The sower is Jesus.  The field is the world.  Good seeds are Good people.  Weeds are bad people.  The devil plants the bad people.  Angels are the servants.  The angels are eager to take out the bad people but God has concern for the well being of the Good people and so he tells the angels to hold off until harvest.  At harvest the Bad people will be tied up and thrown into a blazing furnace and Good people will be stored safely in God's barn.

If this is all you understand of this story, it is more than enough to be a wonderful and rich blessing.  

This story gives you hope and the knowledge that you may suffer at the hands of bad people here on Earth but, in the next life those bad people will get what is coming to them.  Likewise, you have the eternal hope that, if you stick to being Good, you will be sorted from those bad people and given a nice comfortable spot in God's barn.  So that you do not get distracted by it being a barn:  a barn built by the hands of God has to be nicer than the finest home here on Earth.

If you read this parable at this basic level you are blessed with the knowledge that ultimately Justice will prevail and that gives you strength and hope in times of trouble.

A little bit below the surface
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  Matthew 13: 41

When you focus on these Words of Jesus' explanation of The Parable of the Weeds, you realize that it is not just bad people that will be bound up and burned as weeds.  "Everything that causes sin" will be bound and burned.

The Good News of looking a little more deeply is that if you are one of those people mostly committed to being Good, but, you have times of weakness where you slip, Jesus assures us that at judgement all things that might cause you to slip will be bound and burned with the people that choose to be mostly bad.

Of course the big takeaway from The Parable of the Weeds is:  "Don't be a Weed!"  Be Good.  Don't just avoid being bad.  Actively find a way to be Good. 

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