1. A few years ago a popular T.V. commercial featured a rather large man named Orson Wells holding glass of wine in hand.
a. As he looked into the camera with elevated eyebrow, he said "We will sell no wine before its time."
1) Good commercial--spoke of quality & integrity.
2) Taught only time reveals certain things
b. That's an important principle to learn.
1) Whether we learn it from a wine commercial,
2) Or hear it from lips of Jesus--only time will tell.
c. Hearing & understanding that truth should change the way we live.
2. By nature we are quick to come to conclusions about people/things.
a. Often speak of "first impressions" when meeting someone:
1) New person comes into church--quickly decide if we like/dislike.
2) Person is quiet & withdrawn--quick to assign reason.
3) A stranger speaks of Christ--want to decide if X'n.
b. Scripture teaches us to do that which is against our nature to do--RESERVE JUDGMENT recognizing that only time reveals certain things.
3. Lesson today involves looking at 2 Scriptures, both in Matt.:
a. Principle: Matt. 7:1-5.
b. Illustration: Matt. 13:24-30.
I. THE PARABLE (13:24-30).
A. Key to understanding the parable.
1. Key is found in understanding word translated "weeds" (zizanion).
a. "Weeds"--NIV, Phillips.
b. "Thistles"--Living Bible.
c. "Darnel"--NEB, NASV (footnote).
d. "Tares"--KJV, NASV.
2. Word denotes type of plant that looks identical to wheat.
a. While in the blade, impossible to tell!
b. Only when they both come to head at harvest.
3. The seeds of tares are poisonous to humans.
a. Because of parasitic growths they contain.
b. Produce vomiting & other types of discomfort.
c. One could understand why an enemy would use it.
B. Point of the parable (28a-30).
1. Do not engage in premature harvesting.
2. DANGER: Some of wheat may be uprooted with tares!
C. Jesus' explanation of the parable (13:36-43).
1. "The field is the world"--not the church!
a. Some would use this to say we should never disfellowship.
b. Makes Scripture contradict itself.
c. Big difference between judgment & discernment.
2. "The enemy who sows them is the devil."
a. Source of evil in the world is Satan.
b. Jesus believed in and taught of a personal being called Devil.
c. Our enemy is NOT other people, but Satan!
3. There will be a time of harvest.
a. A time when good & evil people will be ultimately separated.
b. Good will be rewarded; evil will be condemned.
II. THE PARABLE APPLIED.
A. The pervasiveness of evil.
1. No matter where one looks, he can see tares!
a. X'ty has had great influence, still ways to go.
b. The most mature congregation still has flaws.
c. The most ideal Christian family still has room for improvement.
2. This is because evil is a real part of this world for the present.
a. And bad guys don't always ride black horses.
b. And good guys don't always wear white hats.
c. Bad guys don't always stay bad guys; good guys don't always stay good guys!
B. Our need to reserve judgment on others.
1. Often busy "writing conclusions" on other people.
a. "He'll never amount to much/she'll always be that way."
b. Such expressions are a slap in the face of God!
c. TRUTH: The script is still being written!
2. Doubtless there's been a time in each of our lives when we could have been "uprooted."
a. Someone else reserved judgment on us & had faith in us instead.
b. POINT OF SERMON: We need to have that same faith in others.
3. This attribute is a remarkable quality of Jesus:
a. Woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11).
b. Jesus meets Simon Peter (John 1:40-42).
c. Isaiah's proph. about Messiah (Matt. 12:15-21).
1) Bruised reed--thought useless, broken & thrown aside.
2) Smoldering wick--irritating, snuffed out.
1. As religious people we have somehow received a terrible reputation for finishing other people's scripts for them.
2. This parable teaches us that Kingdom of Heaven not like that.
a. The KOH is a place where judgment is reserved.
b. The KOH sees people, not so much as they are, but as what they can become . . . in Christ!
3. The good news of the Gospel is--YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR SCRIPT!