Summary: A sermon for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 11 The parable of the weeds and wheat
9th Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
"I can sleep when the Wind Blows"
24 ¶ Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 but while 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 householder came and said to him, ’Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’
28 He said to them, ’An enemy has done this.’ 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, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;
38 the field is the world, and the good seed means 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 evildoers,
42 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
A young man applied for a job as a farmhand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep when the wind blows." This puzzled the farmer. But he liked the young man, and hired him.
A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm. They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace. The young man slept soundly.
The farmer and his wife then inspected their property. They found that the farm tools had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements. The barn was properly locked. Even the animals were calm. All was well.
The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man’s words, "I can sleep when the wind blows." Because the farmhand did his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for the storm when it broke. So when the wind blew, he was not afraid. He could sleep in peace.
There was nothing dramatic or sensational in the young boy’s preparations &endash; he just faithfully did what was needed each day. Consequently, peace was his, even in a storm. 1
Our gospel lesson speaks to this kind of preparation, daily living our faith.
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 well, 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.