The parable of the weeds Matthew 13:24-30 36-43
What are the types of seed being sown in the world?
How often do we wish we could just get rid of the bad people?
When do we finally know the weeds from the wheat?
Is there a connection to the parable of the sower?
What connections can you make to the other parables in Matthew 13?
In the parable of the sower Jesus answered why doesn’t everyone understand and come to believe in Jesus? In this parable Jesus tells us the answer to another question we have. Why doesn’t God just kill all the evil people, why not get rid of all the bad people?
The enemy, Satan, has sown weeds in with the wheat. It is obvious to everyone that there are weeds in the field. So, the works ask, “do you want us to go pull the weeds?” It seems like the easy answer. It is often pointed out that the weeds in this passage are a wheat look alike called tares. Since tares and wheat look much the same, it would be impossible to separate the two.
Get me weed pulling in the garden and there is danger. I just don’t have the ability to tell weeds from flowers. This last year we thought we had a volunteer squash plant. The leaves looked like the squash plant we bought, and it was growing strong. By the time we figured out it was not squash it was quite big. Later it bloomed, and we found a holly hock.
We think we know weeds. They are easy to spot. I hear people say it so often. Weeds are not the same color as us, weeds don’t speak the same language as we do. When I was growing up weeds had long hair and wore blue jeans and sandals. The whole basis of ethnic cleansing comes from the idea of pulling out all the weeds. Weeds are Jewish, Weeds are Irish, Weeds are Italian, weeds come from Mexico, China, Africa. We think we know weeds and we are going to rip them out. But our parable warns against this.
If we accept the idea that the weeds in the parable are tares, the wheat look alike. The parable is telling us that we can’t tells weeds from wheat. We may think we can, but God says we can’t. Since “all have sinned and fall short.” And God proclaims that “there are none that are righteous not even one.” This means everyone starts out a weed and needs to be transformed by God into wheat.
Ask yourself, at what age should God cut the bad people out? How about ten years old? Is it not obvious by ten who is going to turn out a weed? Where might you be if God weeded at age ten? How about twenty? Surly you can tell by twenty? If God weeded at twenty would you have made it? I know a person who waited until she was over 70 to come to Jesus. The fact is that we can’t not tell who the weeds are.
The parable tells us the reason you do not pull the weeds is that you will damage the wheat. Even if you could tell who the weeds are, in the process of pulling the weeds you damage the wheat.
Even if the weeds are obvious, the hate and prejudice against the weeds infects the young wheat. Our nations hatred of those who are different, is damaging our young people. Our young people can never become the beautiful image of God they are meant to be because hate and prejudice have damaged them.
Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
God says He will sort weeds from wheat at the end of time. Treat everyone as potential Wheat. The person you want to attack because they are different and don’t look like you, may be one of God’s treasured Wheat plants.