September 16th, 2021 – Matthew 13:24

Verse of the Day Devotion  Matthew 13:24  He presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.” 

Today we will look at the Parable of the Weeds.   Here is this parable as found in Matthew’s gospel.

He presented another parable to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares? And he said to them,  An enemy has done this!  And the slaves  said to him, Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?  But he  said,  No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers,  First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30.

The parable of the wheat and weeds speaks of two different kinds of seed sown by two different individuals, a farmer, and his enemy.  First, the field is a picture of the world, not simply the Jewish nation.  The good seed is the children of the Kingdom of God sowed by God, essentially the true Christians, while the bad seed are those who are not of this Kingdom that were sowed by the enemy.  Now some time later both seeds sprouted.  “But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.” Matthew 13:26. Now, as they grew, the slaves of the landowner noticed that not everything that sprouted up was wheat. “And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?”  Matthew 13:27.  They were diligent servants who questioned him regarding how this could have happened.

He then answers them saying that an enemy has sowed these weeds in the field.  Then the slaves asked, “Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?” Matthew 13:28b. But the landowner says, “No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.” Matthew 13:29. Just as the wheat and weeds were often superficially similar in appearance and if sown too close to each other were too intermingled in their root systems to be pulled up separately, so too God’s people are sometimes outwardly hard to distinguish from his enemies. They can be too interconnected with them in society for anyone to try to purify the world from evil without hurting those who are good. Unfortunately, during that time many Zealots, and at times even his disciples, were often eager for precisely this to happen. We see an example of this in the gospel of Luke.  “And it came about, when the days were approaching for His ascension, that He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him. And they went, and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make arrangements for Him. And they did not receive Him, because He was journeying with His face toward Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them? But He turned and rebuked them, and said, You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went on to another village.” Luke 9:51-56.  He then tells them, “Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 24:30.

There are definitely bad/evil people intermixed in this world with the people of God.  However, can we really tell the difference in all cases?  It is not our place to judge people by what we see for many times we cannot see their heart, nor can we see where they will be in the future. I have known many who were looking into the Christian life before excepting Him while still living a worldly life. But also, there are people who wish us to believe they believe. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.” Matthew 7:21-23.   

In closing, it is not our place to make judgements one way or another. Our job is simply to go out and live the Christian life openly so that all can see it, while declaring the truth of the Gospel. We may be able to help them give their lives to Jesus. And we are called to disciple Christians to understand this life more clearly. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

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