Summary: This is another parable fo which Jesus offers an interpreation. As a kingdom parable, this parable teaches how God’s Kingdom can be presently at work breaking into this world at the same time that evil is also at work.
The Parables of Jesus
Wheat and Weeds
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
May 31, 2009
The parable of the wheat and weeds. Another parable that Jesus offers an interpretation, which in Matthew sandwiches two other really brief parables—mustard and yeast. All of which have similar themes and seek to explain a particular understanding of God’s kingdom. They are kingdom parables. So let’s look at this parable in Matthew 13.
Little Hannah begged her grandmother to make the long distance trip for her birthday. Unable to resist, grandma came to visit Hannah.
At Hannah’s birthday dinner, her father asked Hannah if she would bless the bless the food on her birthday dinner.
“Oh yes, Daddy,” Hannah replied closing her eyes reverently, “Dear Lord, thank you for the great food that Mommy fixed for my birthday and thank you that Grandma was able to come today.” Then she opened her eyes ever so slyly and peeked at her grandmother and then continued, “And please Lord, let us have a good time at Toys R Us this afternoon.”
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.’ "
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.
This parable seeks to answer a concern and question about the kingdom of God that Jesus has been teaching and preaching about: If God’s kingdom is present how come there is all this bad stuff happening? And this is still a question we ask today, isn’t it? If God is in control, if God truly reigns, why is there so much murder, rape, and abuse? Why so much suffering? Why do good people get such awful diseases? Why do our innocent children suffer sometimes from such awful medical conditions? Why if God is really in control?
Now Jesus is focusing on the kingdom aspect here and not on some theological explanation on suffering or even giving specific answers to individual cases. His critics are wondering just how God’s kingdom is really present as he has been saying. So in this explanation Jesus reminds us:
The Kingdom of God is Present
It is happening then and now. Except we need to remember a couple of things about what some call the “in-breaking kingdom.”
1. Even though evil continues to exist, judgment will come.
2. Life is not fair.
I want to point out that this parable is not about the church but it is about the world at large. This is not a parable to justify why the church has saints and sinners. This is the world in which we live. Jesus is saying that God is not yet ready to make the separation of the good and the bad. He is not ready to judge. Even though the kingdom is present and God’s power is shown and people are touched and changed and saved. Even though some people are healed and some are not. The kingdom has not yet fully come.
Theologians speak in terms of consummation as in a marriage consummation. The kingdom has not yet been brought into full union with the world. Even though evil knows it is defeated and it is just a matter of time, God is delaying the harvest or delaying the final judgment presumably so that the wheat may be revealed to be wheat.