Summary: God is at work in the world today! That’s why hundreds of Russian school children were slaughtered by terrorists a few weeks ago. God is at work in the world today. That’s why a troubled 13-year old boy shot and killed his 16 year old brother this week
September 19, 2004
PARABLE OF THE WEEDS
Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43
God is at work in the world today! That’s why hundreds of Russian school children were slaughtered by terrorists a few weeks ago. God is at work in the world today. That’s why a troubled 13-year old boy shot and killed his 16 year old brother this week. God is at work in the world today. That’s why politicians lie, cheat, and slander if they think it will help them win. God is at work in the world today. That’s why young wives get murdered by their husbands. That’s why young children are being kidnapped and raped all across this great land.
Do you understand where I’m going with this? Have you ever asked yourself the question being raised? Turn with me to the Gospel of Matthew. Do you know what Matthew is trying to get across in this gospel? Do you know the truth he was trying to share? Matthew wrote this book because he wants us to know this one basic truth—when Jesus Christ came to earth, He brought the kingdom of God with Him. Wherever Jesus went, the kingdom went. Wherever Jesus is, that’s where the kingdom is too. That’s the whole point of the book of Matthew.
It begins in Matthew chapter 1 where Matthew establishes that Jesus was born of royal linage. Jesus is the rightful heir of David’s throne. He is the King. In Matthew 2, we see Jesus anointed as king and worshiped by Magi. And in Matthew chapters 4-12, Jesus reveals both the nature and the power of His kingdom as He goes about preaching, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. The kingdom of heaven is near because wherever Jesus is, that’s where the kingdom is too. And wherever the kingdom is sickness is healed, demons are overthrown, and death itself is conquered!
When Jesus Christ came into the world, the kingdom of heaven came too. And because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, His kingdom remains in the world today. Do you feel the kingdom’s presence? Do see its power working? Then tell me why. Tell me why those Russian school children were murdered. Tell me why the twin towers fell. Tell me why you have to lock your doors at home. Tell me why children get abused. If the kingdom of heaven is here, tell me why evil is still here too.
In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus tells a parable that helps us understand. It’s a parable that answers the question, “If the kingdom of heaven has come in Christ, why does rebellion and murder and selfishness and pride still abound?” If the kingdom of God is here, why is there still evil? Listen to the parable of Jesus. Beginning with Matthew 13:24 we read, Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
The parables of Matthew 13 are parables that reveal truths about the kingdom of God. That’s why Jesus begins this parable with the words, “The kingdom of heaven is like… So exactly what is Jesus teaching us about the kingdom of God here? What does this parable mean? Fortunately, we don’t have to guess. Jesus Himself explains this parable to us. We find His explanation in Matthew 13:36-43. Follow with me again as I read Matthew 13:36-43.
Beginning with verse 36 we read, Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sowed the seed is the Son of Man. 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, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.