Summary: Parables for Christian Living, Pt. 1
THE HARVEST AT THE END OF THE AGE (MATTHEW 13:24-30, 36-43)
The Internet was a good idea gone bad and fully exploited. When computer scientists sent the first electronic-mail messages over the Internet more than 30 years go, they urge users to adopt the philosophy to “be liberal in what they accept and conservative in what they send.” At the time, the Net was in its infancy, used by a few hundred researchers at universities, government labs and high-tech companies.
Today, hundreds of millions of people have e-mail addresses, and spammers send out billions of junk e-mail messages every day. On a given day e-mail users will find themselves deleting without end unsolicited e-mails luring them to pornography, Internet gambling, and other sites. Spammers even copy corporate logos to send fake messages purporting to be from companies such as EBay Inc. and Citibank to fool people into handing over their credit card numbers and other personal information.
Internet service providers such as Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and other companies today are racing to find a way to verify that people who send e-mail are who they say they are. “There was very little attention paid to nasty people because we all knew and trusted each other,” said David Farber, an Internet pioneer who is now a professor of computer science and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. “It was understood that it was easy to forge mail, but who would forge mail among your friends?” (Los Angeles Times 7/15/04 “Searching for Ways to Fight Junk E-Mail”)
The Chinese have a saying, “Do not have a heart to harm others; however, be not wanting of a heart cautious of others.” In God’s church today are scammers, swindlers, schemers, scoundrels and saboteurs of all kinds. In God’s kingdom, however, church impostors, hypocrites, and trespassers will not inherit or enter God’s kingdom. The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is exclusive to Matthew. Matthew 13:24 is the first of four occurrences of this phrase that Matthew used in his parables (Matt 18:23, 22:2, 25:1) to devastating effect to encourage discouraged believers, to persuade undecided seekers, and to warn convincing wannabes.
BE TOUGHMINDED: OPPOSITION WILL EMERGE BUT IT WILL NOT TRIUMPH
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. One Sunday morning, everyone in one bright, beautiful, tiny town got up early and went to the local church. Before the services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews and talking about their lives, their families, etc. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from the evil incarnate.