Summary: How can you tell between the real follower of Jesus and the counterfeit? While this isn't the only sign, you should look for a person to continue with Christ for the long haul.
What makes a Christian a Christian? What is the PROOF that determines if a person truly follows Christ?
Today, we’ll examine a story Jesus deals with the question of the believer’s confidence on the last Day of Judgment. Jesus’ story shows His followers become distinguishable over time. We’ll see that Jesus’ followers superficially look like everyone else. But to anyone who takes the time to really examine things, Jesus’ followers will look different and be treated differently by God Himself.
Jesus’ parable tells us this truth: There are two kingdoms in this world vying for control over everything. It is important that you know which kingdom you belong to.
“He put another parable before them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43).
WHAT makes Christianity more “sticky” in some? Another way of saying this is “How can you confidently know if you are a true follower of Christ?” By asking this question, I examine the assurance a Christian has in believing he is a follower of Christ. By assurance, I am referring to a believer’s confidence that he or she is already in a right standing with God, and their confidence that their belief will continue until the day of his or her judgment.
This parable is placed among three parables where Satan is mentioned. Throughout this chapter (Matthew 13)… Satan is revealed as an imitator. Satan is busy planting false Christians; Satan encourages false growth; and Satan introduces false doctrine.
Jesus first tells the parable to both the small group of His Disciples as well as to the larger group. He then waits to give the explanation of the parable to only the Disciples. Jesus’ main point in this story is to communicate: There are two kingdoms in this world vying for control over everything. There are two orders of reality… And it is important that you know which kingdom you belong to.
Meet the Story’s Main Characters
The sower is Jesus or as He calls Himself, the “Son of Man” (verse 37). He is identified as the “Master.” The good seed represents the children of the kingdom (verse 38). The weeds are sons of the evil one (verse 38). And the evil one is Satan Himself (verse 39). So the Parable of Wheat and the Weeds present God’s people and their opponent. Jesus uses the image of a harvest as a symbol for Judgment Day. Jesus Himself is the Judge on the Day of Judgment (verse 43).
1. The Work of God
If you were to begin reading Matthew and found your way to Matthew 13, you would note that you are about at the halfway point of His ministry. Matthew 13 is roughly halftime or the intermission of Jesus’ three-year ministry. Observe that resistance to Jesus’ teaching and claims has grown. Where vast crowds had seemingly hung on His every word now Jesus is met with increasing hostility and opposition.