Summary: What is the source of Evil in the world? Jesus gives His answer in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
Living Under Grace – 4 – Parable of the Tares - 2
Recently visiting my mother’s congregation
• I was asked this question about the tsunami tragedy by an older member of the congregation
• Do you think because of the high number of casualties in Ache that God had singled out the Moslems for judgment?
• What do you think?
• The implication behind the question is that God in some way caused this tragedy – He caused the tragedy in order to punish the Moslems
• Well today as we continue our series on what it means to live under grace we are going to answer that question
• And appropriately it comes up in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares which we are going to go back to now and look at it in more detail
• you might remember last time we took a general look at it in regard to how differently our solutions are to a problem than God’s are – His solution was to leave the evil alongside the good
• Matthew 13:24-30 (NKJV)24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
• In verse 38 we are told in this parable that the good seed represents the “Sons of the Kingdom” that is the offspring of what the Word has sown
• 25 but while men slept, (natural pastime, does the seed need us to watch it while it grows in the ground? No it is quite capable of doing its thing) his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
• So now we see another mystery introduces to the story. We first of all have the mystery of the kingdom of God slowly going about its business in the world (the soil) despite what might sometimes appear on the surface
• Now a second mystery is introduced, the mystery of evil in the world
• Through the whole parable there is no danger to the wheat’s growth itself
• The seed, representing the kingdom of God continues to grow and flourish despite the tares
• The problem is more one of inconvenience to the farmer and his servants
• believe me no farmer likes weeds and I had enough experience as a kid helping my father chip the weeds out of the sugar cane fields to know – its hot, its dusty and its boring and you get blisters
• 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
• Now we come back to the question I was asked at the beginning – about the tsunami tragedy
• The servants come to the farmer and are surprised that tares are growing amongst the wheat when all they planted were wheat seeds
• Notice how Jesus answers their question to who caused this major inconvenience
• 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’
• And of course this is the answer to the tsunami tragedy and every other tragedy the world experiences – ‘An enemy has done this.’
• God is not the author of evil, Satan is
The first mistake we make when we make statements like my friend’s about God punishing the Muslims or anyone else is that we attribute evil to God!
• Last time we read how Jesus answered the Sons of Thunder’s request to call down fire out of heaven to teach the Samaritans a lesson
• The Jews regarded the Samaritans in much the same way many in the West regard Muslims today
• Hope we see the similarities to the question my friend asked – the implication being “The Muslims today need to be taught a lesson in the same way the Samaritans needed to be in Jesus’ day”
• Notice Jesus’ response, Luke 9:55 ….He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
• Jesus is saying to them and to us today, The source of your hatred towards Muslims today is no different from the source of hatred the disciples displayed towards the Samaritans in Jesus’ time – it comes from the spirit of the enemy
• So the disciples didn’t have a corner on human nature – the same spirit of hatred is alive and well today
• 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
• The Christian community needs to realize Jesus loves all his creation including Muslims and even AIDS sufferers (throw that in for good measure) and wants to save them all, not destroy them