Summary: This is week seven of our series the Kingdom of Heaven is like and this message looks at the tares sown amongst the wheat
7 The Kingdom of Heaven is like Wheat and Weeds
When I was in High School we did the musical “The Music Man” and in that play is the line by the lead character Professor Harold Hill, the Music Man himself, “what we have here is trouble, trouble right here in River City.” In the musical Hill tells the people the trouble “starts with a capital P and it rhymes with T and it stands for pool.”
Well Jesus is now telling the people there will be trouble in the Kingdom of Heaven and it has nothing to do with pool.
After a two week break we are now week 8 in our summer series the “Kingdom of Heaven is like. . .” and we have been looking at the various parables that Jesus told that began with the words, “The Kingdom of Heaven, or the Kingdom of God is like. . .”
If you’ve been with us from the beginning back in June we started with the premise “The Kingdom of Heaven is like an Inukshuk.” Just in case you were wondering about all the inuksuit around the property, on your bulletins, the window ledges and this wonderful creation on the platform. And the premise of course is that the Inukshuk was an integral part of the Inuit’s world acting as a landmark, a direction guide and a warning of danger. And that we as Christ followers are supposed to provide the same functions in our world.
Because when you think about it the primary function of the Inukshuk is to make sure people don’t get lost and the grace of Jesus offers the same assurance, and that grace is to be revealed through his church. It is not much of a stretch that because the church performs these functions today Jesus can say “Now the people will know that I was here.”
And so over the first seven parts of this series we have seen how Jesus looked across the country side looking for everyday events to illustrate the eternal nature of His Kingdom, a man working in a field, a net being thrown into the water, a woman kneading her bread.
Through the pictures he has drawn his followers have seen the Kingdom planted and begin to grow and mature, having an impact on individuals and society as a whole. And there has been no hint of problems, everybody having a wonderful time. And sometimes that’s what we expect of church and life, just a meandering ride down a gentle flowing river. When I was a teenager we lived on the Hammond River, just outside of Saint John New Brunswick, and sometimes in the summer we would cart our big inner tubes upstream and drift down the river, just lying back in the sunshine.
But that isn’t life and it certainly isn’t the reality of God’s Kingdom as long as there are people involved and as long as there are forces out there that oppose the kingdom of God. Through these parables Jesus was explaining what the Kingdom is really like not simply reinforcing how we would like to see the Kingdom.
And so Jesus looks out across a wheat field gently swaying in the afternoon breeze and says look, Matthew 13:24-26 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
In another one of Jesus’ parables he talks about a farmer sowing seed and how some of the seed fell on the path way and didn’t take root, and other seed fell on shallow soil and wasn’t able to survive and other seed feel into thorn bushes and was choked out, and finally how some seed landed in fertile soil and produced a flourishing crop.
In that parable Jesus was illustrating how his words and teaching would be received by the world, how it would not be productive in everyone’s life. And we understand that, we see it happen, but we kind of hope that when the seed finally begins to grow and reproduce that is the happy ending to the story, and everyone lived happily ever after.
But here we see the reality, the crop has been planted, the seed has taken root, the wheat begins to grow and then those tending the fields notice a problem, they discover that not all the plants are the same. That the majority of the plants are indeed the wheat that was planted but in amongst the good wheat are plants that look like wheat at first glance but upon closer examination are something completely different.