Summary: Weeds come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some of them flower and look absolutely beautiful and others will poke you and make you bleed. Some weeds are hard to identify as tender shoots but as they age their identity will become clear. Jesus kne
Last summer my daughters Katie and Sara asked if they could take our dogs Shadow and Reba for a walk. Now Shadow is a black lab and he needs to walk because he has a bit of a weight problem. Reba is 12 and is deaf but always willing to take a spin. I live on a gravel road that is surrounded by farmland so when we left our driveway we turned up the road and walked toward the farm at the end of the road. The dogs were having a blast running around smelling this and that and my girls were just putting along yelling at the dogs, who paid no attention to them, and collecting rocks to take home to show mom.
About halfway to our destination Katie saw these beautiful yellow flowers so she started picking them. At first she just picked one or two and handed them to me and told me to hold them for mom. Then Sara started picking these beautiful yellow flowers which seemed to be everywhere. In just a few minutes my girls had both my hands full of yellow flowers and both of them also had a handful so we decided we should turn around and bring our prized flowers back home to show mom.
We walked even slower on the way home because the girls didn’t want to drop any of their precious flowers. When we walked in the door the girls ran up to mom and presented her with her gifts. When I made it in the door I presented my peace offerings as well and mom took every one of those dandelions and put them in a huge vase and set them on the counter.
Weeds come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some of them flower and look absolutely beautiful and others will poke you and make you bleed. Some weeds are hard to identify as tender shoots but as they age their identity will become clear.
Jesus knew what a weed was and he used a picture of weeds growing in a field to describe a spiritual problem. Last week we learned about the sower who sowed his seed on a path, in the shallow soil, among the weeds, and in the good soil. The parable told us to get planted in the good soil, get planted in the word of God. If you don’t your spiritual life will be shallow at best or never grow at all. The parable we are going to look at today reveals that weeds are everywhere and sometimes we just have to grow in spite of them.
Let me draw the picture for you. Jesus had so many people following him on this particular day that he couldn’t even teach. The crowds were massive and Jesus always the opportunist took the opportunity to lead the crowd to a lake where he had them sit on the hill facing the lake and he stepped into a boat and pushed it out a little way from shore and began to talk to them about weeds.
“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.’ " Matthew 13:24-30 NIV
This was ancient terrorism. Enemies would often plant weeds in their opponent’s fields to keep their food supply from reaching harvest. An unwise leader would have all the weeds pulled up and would often ruin their good crops in the process. Remember, they didn’t farm in neat little rows like we do today, they just threw the seed out there and whatever grew, grew. The weeds would be growing in the same dirt right next to the crop.
The disciples understood the whole enemy trying to ruin the crop thing, but they needed a little help drawing out the spiritual application. Jesus left the crowd and explained it to them.
“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 good 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.” Matthew 13:36-43 NIV