More Parables, More Explanations
The text this week is Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43. This is very similar to the lesson last week. It has a parable then a clear explanation from Jesus as to its meaning. As befitting an agricultural society, Jesus uses another farming parable. This time it is about comparing the Kingdom of Heaven to someone who has sown good seed in their field. Yet, in this field of a generally good harvest there are weeds. The weeds, as Jesus explains are children of the evil one, while the wheat are the children of God.
Jesus then explains that at the time of the harvest, which is the end of the age, God will gather up the wheat and burn the weeds. He instructs those listening that they should not try to root out the weeds themselves because they may inadvertently pull up wheat. Jesus assures those listening that all will be made right at the time of the harvest.
Let God Be God
One of the most trenchant things I ever learned from my former pastor is that “God is God, and we are not”. As true a sentiment as there ever was. The point of this passage for us is a clear warning to stay away from doing God’s work. In attempting to remove the “weeds” from our community we may push away those who are faithful and worse, we may turn them away from following Jesus by our ham-fisted attempt to “cleanse” our church. We are not God, so we cannot possibly know who is wheat and who is weeds. This should be clear enough, but apparently not, or Jesus would not have told this parable and we would not be in such need of relearning this lesson.
So as we go about sowing the seed of the Good News and cultivating our garden (to continue with Jesus’s agricultural metaphors) we should keep clearly in mind that God will sort everything out in due course. Ours is to sow as best we can and to keep ourselves as free of weeds as possible. Offer others your love, care, concern and faithful witness. Even if we suspect that they are weeds, keep treating them as wheat, and trust that God will make all perfect in His own way and in His own good time. Knowing our place in God’s creation is not always easy. Humans love control, but all control belongs to God. Let God be about God’s business and be about our own. What business is that? Why to believe and to obey, of course.
Praise Be to God