Summary: Looking to the American Declaration of Independence, the Christian has three unalienable rights . 1. The Right to Eternal Life 2. The Right to Liberty from sin and 3. The Right to Happiness that can only be found in a personal relationship with
Mt 13:24-43 The Parable of the Weeds
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “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?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 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 Parable of the Weeds Explained
36 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.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 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.
42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
The Parable of the Wheat and Tares
Jesus gave us some wonderful teaching about how God wants us to live our lives. And to do this he used Parables or stories to help us understand God’s message to us
Last week we looked at the Parable of the Sower and we saw how the four different types of soil represented the four possible different responses to Jesus’ words
Today’s parable of the wheat and tares begins where last week’s parable left off - with the good crop growing in the good soil.
In today’s parable, Jesus is speaking about people who want to be disciples
In this parable, the seed has taken root in the good soil.
Jesus’ words have taken root in the hearts of disciples – and the seed starts to flourish.
But the devil isn’t content to let Christians grow in peace and quiet - he is out to disrupt us and so he sows a weed.
But it wasn’t just any weed – it was darnel (lolium temulentum)
"this resembles wheat-like grass and is a weed in whose grains lives a poisonous fungus and grows exclusively in grain fields in the Middle East (per The Parables of Jesus – David Wenham p.57)
RT France says this about darnel. It is
" a poisonous plant related to wheat and which is virtually indistinguishable from it until the ears form.
To sow darnel among wheat as an act of revenge was punishable in Roman Law – so it probably depicts a real life situation."
(Matthew- R.T. France p. 225)
The meaning of Jesus parable is simply this:
In the world in which we live, there will be true disciples of Jesus and there will be those who are counterfeit.
And you will only recognise the counterfeit not by what they say but by the fruit they bear.
And the counterfeit disciples aren’t neutral, they are out to stop the word of God growing.
The battle is not just in the world – the devil has brought it into the Church – where God’s people meet and grow together.
As Keith Green once poignantly said:
"Going to church no more makes you a Christian than going to Mc Donald’s makes you a hamburger"
So what is it that makes us a Christian.
In Jesus’ parable we see three characteristics of Christians.
1. Their spiritual life comes from God. The sower of the seed in their life is God
2. God is described as their Father – abba – a very intimate family word and
3. They are called “righteous”
What does righteous mean?
1. Firstly this means being in a right relationship with God.
Perhaps that is what Jesus meant when he said in the parable : they will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father