Summary: A sermon (also suitable for Seekers) covering 1) The source of evil 2) Sorting out evil 3)Separating evil from good (people)

The Wheat and the weeds Mt13:24-30, 36-43 WBC 10/3/2 am SKR

Love these parables! So much in them… this one!

The Source of evil- (where does it come from?)

The age old question: why is there evil? Suffering? Why does God allow it?

- well, the Bible offers SOME answers. Some things it states clearly. Some not so clearly. Many briefly. And the Bible’s whole thought is summarised, here!”

“While everyone was sleeping”

- it’s not inferring God - was napping on the job

- failed in some way

- someone pulled a fast one on Him… caught Him on the hop… and introduced evil & suffering

It is perfectly normal to tend crops during the day and sleep at night.

- no negligence implied

It’s there to make a point. The point being

- God did not send evil… want evil

 the source is ELSEWHERE

- “an enemy did this”

= consistent with Bible

- = what the snake symbolises in gen 3

- someone/thing external to God

- note: you don’t know from reading Gen 3 that it’s something called ‘Satan’. We only know that because of the fuller picture

- so THIS is just like Gen 3: someone else. An enemy

The point made here, as elsewhere in the Bible is:

- God’s not the source of it…sender of evil

- An enemy did this. We call him Satan

The argument for God and suffering/evil is called “theodicy”

- and this encapsulates the theodicy of the whole Bible! One line!

- Not really told much more! Not told ‘why’

- For many of us, who like the helpers are preoccupied with the issue of suffering such an answer seems woefully inadequate and short

- But I sense this issue is far bigger than we ever could imagine (like the universe is!)- and God has His reasons for not explaining more. Maybe we

- Couldn’t understand?

- Not supposed to understand?

But we’re told in no uncertain terms

- it’s not God!

- God is good. Love. Not the source of evil

- Not to be charged with evil

- JOB 1:22 “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with evil.”

- it’s from elsewhere

 never doubt this! (you are good, you are good and your love endures)

Sorting out evil- (why doesn’t God do something?!)

= the big issue for us

is/was for these farmers

- seems logical that the farmer should do something

- “do you want us to pull them up?”

- come on! Let’s sort it out, now! Let’s do something about it

Makes agricultural sense!

- otherwise end up with a field of weeds

- worse still- if the weed is Darnel (suspect it is- as that looks like wheat until the ears form. Related to wheat)- the issue’s worse as you end up with poisonous bread- Darnel is toxic!

So the very fact that nothing is done seems even more ludicrous! Stands out

- and so it should. Jesus is flouting agronomic sense to make a theological point:

 for some very important reason… that we can only catch glimpses of.. God chooses not to sort this out NOW.

- here are some of the glimpses:

1 none of us would stand a chance!

Because the wheat and the weeds are almost indistinguishable

- it’s not as simple as ‘they’re bad, I’m good’

- wheat and weeds look alike

- WE are a mixture of wheat and weeds

- "The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor classes, nor between political parties... but right through every human heart and through all human hearts" Alexander Solzhenitsyn

God comes back and starts controlling things- we’d be the first to complain ‘hey, I thought you gave me free will!’

God comes back and starts wiping out murderers, rapists.. (fine by me!)… adulterers… those who say bad things about their parents… those who don’t handle anger rightly

- woops! We all start sweating! None of us would stand a chance!

2 God is merciful

“ah! But we’ve been forgiven! We’re destined for the barn, not burning” You say

- well: think it IS as simple as that… and it’s NOT

- we may be surprised at who gets the barn and who gets the burning

- remember, here: only God knows

though we ARE the 99 safe sheep, the ‘sons of the kingdom’, if we’ve trusted Jesus for the ‘barn’

- God cares about the others. He is merciful!

- The jury is out as to whether they’ll end up wheat or weeds (and us, too, you could argue!)

2PE 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

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