Summary: A sermon for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 11
9 Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
"Are You A Weed?"
Are you a weed?? That’s a strange question isn’t it. Are you a weed?? But that is just the question our gospel lesson is asking each of us. Are we weeds?? Our gospel text concerns the difference between weeds and wheat in a field. Jesus tells a parable about farmer who sowed some wheat seeds into his field. Everything was going good, until one day his servants noticed that some weeds which looked just like the wheat were growing up in the field also. They ran to the owner and asked him about the kinds of seeds that he used. He said that an enemy has sown the bad seed in his field and that he had used good seed. Then the servants, being eager to make the field look good again, asked if they should go and pull out the weeds. But the master says no, because until the weeds and the wheat ripen no one could really tell them apart and they might disturb the good wheat along with trying to pull up the weeds.
He tells them that they should leave the fields alone, and then when the wheat is ready for harvest, the weeds will have bloomed also, and one could tell the difference. Then the harvesters could come and pull out the weeds and burn them, and gather the harvest of wheat next.
Jesus then explains the parable by saying that the sower or the master is the Son of God, the field is the world, and the good seed are the sons or people of the kingdom of God and the bad seeds or the weeds are the sons of the evil one or the devil who sowed them into the field. Jesus then says that you cannot tell the difference between these two groups of people, but when the close of the age comes, and the harvest of the world is ready, then the angels will separate the evil ones from tile righteous ones. The evil ones will be burned and the righteous people will live with him for eternity.
Now the question can be asked, which are you, the weeds or the wheat? This parable was not told so that we might go around and judge others and decide who is a weed and who is wheat. Jesus says loud and clear that is his responsibility, it is the function of the Father and his angels. But the parable is for one to take a close look at his or her life with the understanding that one can judge ones own heart and then repent and bear good fruit. So today, we don’t want you to look at your neighbor and say, well, pastor is really talking about you. Today’s sermon is addressed to each of us individually, it is a time to look at ones own sins, at the way one conducts ones own life, then make a decision about repentance for your own life and turning around and bearing fruit for Jesus.
As we look at ourselves this morning, as we compare ourselves to the example of weeds or wheat, we can ask this question of ourselves. Do we want to look like the wheat when it is convenient for us, and then be like weeds the rest of the time?? Or putting it another way, does our faith in Jesus and the responsibility for living a committed kind of life get turned on and off when it is easy for us?? Many people label Christians hypocrites. They say one thing or expect one thing from others and not themselves. Are you like that?? Am I like that? Do we have one standard for ourselves, and another standard for others?? Or are we consistent, do we live out what Jesus has demonstrated in his life as the way of living each day we face on this earth.? Ask yourself if being a follower of Jesus stops when you leave the church and starts again when you enter the doors again next Sunday? Or does being a Christian do something to your entire life, 7 days a week 24 hours a day?? Judge for yourself, because you are the only one who can answer those questions, you are the only one who knows what is in the corner of your mind and heart.
Another question this parable poses for us is this: are we being productive with our lives?? Are we bearing fruit for the sake of the gospel?? Jesus says that the wheat bears good fruit, but the weeds bear no fruit. Are you willing to bear fruit to get involved for the sake of the gospel message?? Our church is always in need of people to help with projects or run for offices in the church. We constantly need Sunday school teachers, Junior Lutheran sponsors, Bible School teachers, council officers, Luther League sponsors and a whole host of other responsibility await people who belong to the church. But I wonder why it is so difficult for the nominating committees to find people to do these function if we all want to bear fruit? I wonder why people hate to be The ALCW nominating committee, is it because to many of us are weeds and bear no fruit and they have a difficult time finding the wheat in the field?? Jesus asks you this morning to search your hearts and souls to see if you will bear fruit for him. He asks us if we you and I are willing to get involved for the sake of his gospel message?? He is asking us if we can bear fruit for him .