Summary: This 2nd parable of Christ’s tells of an enemy that sowed "weeds" in the field of the Son of Man. But in the parable Christ instructs his laborers (the angels) not to yank out the weeds? How come?

OPEN: I’m told there are only two vegetables that are “perennial” - they don’t have to be replanted to produce on their own- several growing seasons.

All other vegetables must be replanted every year.

Quiz: What are the only two vegetables that don’t have to be replanted?

(Rhubarb/ Asparagus)

Now, that’s probably a good thing for those vegetables because if it depended on me, they wouldn’t get replanted.

APPLY: There is a basic definition of the difference between garden plants and weeds:

Weeds are anything you don’t have to plant, water, or fertilize. Weeds just grow up all on their own.

But now – here in this parable about the weeds, we find that the weeds didn’t just happen. The weeds didn’t just grow up by chance amongst the good crop.

They were planted by an enemy.

In the parables found in Matthew 13, Jesus is trying tho help us understand some of the dynamics we can expect to encounter as Christians in this world.

For example:

His 1st parable talked about a farmer spreading seed on 4 different kinds of soils. I believe that part of what He wanted us to understand was that we shouldn’t get upset when people

Ø get angry with us,

Ø and reject our faith,

Ø or make fun of our commitment to Christ, etc.

… because (just like those different soils) not everybody’s heart was going to be open to our faith or our witness about Jesus.

Now, He’s telling us another parable about a farmer that sows “good seed” in the field. But - during the night - an enemy comes and maliciously sows weeds in the field.

Before we get started let’s revue what Jesus tells us about the parable…

1. The farmer is… “The Son of Man” (Jesus, vs. 37)

2. The good seed stands for… “the sons of the Kingdom” (that’s us, vs. 38)

3. The enemy is… “Satan” (vs. 39)

4. The weeds are… “the sons of the evil one” (vs. 38)

5. And the harvest is… “the end of the age” (judgment day)

Right from the start, there’s something that seems pretty obvious to me. I’m not much of a gardener but even I know – if you’ve got weeds in your garden – you pull them.

And these weeds are the tool of Satan. They are the “sons of the evil one”. Satan has sown them in this world to undermine God’s Kingdom…

So, why on earth wouldn’t God just yank them up as soon as they appear???

Well… we’ll get back to that in a minute.

But first, I want to tell you a little about the setting of Jesus’ parable. There’s something Jesus’ audience would have understood, that we wouldn’t know about in our culture. And that is the type of weeds Jesus was probably talking about.

Most scholars believe that the weeds were something known as the “Bearded Darnel”. Bearded Darnel looks so much like wheat that it’s called “False wheat”.

As it grows, you can’t hardly tell the two apart… until the ear appears.

And you wouldn’t want to make bread out of this false wheat because it contains a strong sleep-inducing, hypnotic like POISON. If you prepared bread like this for your family, you’d hurt them.

In this parable Jesus is telling us that Satan’s goal is to actively undermine the Gospel by presenting people with a substitute.

· To the untrained eye this “false wheat” (these false teacher and preachers) will look just like the real thing

· If you listened to their ideas/ teachings/ doctrines… they’d almost sound like us

· But once the full body of what they believe is known there’s a hypnotic poison about them that could drag us in/ and drag us down.

ILLUS: At the last church I served, there were a couple of families in the church that had gotten into the habit of listening to a TV preacher that came on in the wee hours of the morning. They shared a video tape of his teachings with me, and (aside from the cowboy hat and the big cigar in his mouth) his doctrines didn’t sound that far off… that is until you began reading his literature.

It seems he was teaching that Cain was the offspring of Eve and Satan! And that Cain was a black man. Thus all black people were offspring of Satan himself and were to be shunned and treated as inferior. It was a new twist on the old racial bigotry interpretation of Genesis.

Of course, this was all heresy (not to mention fairly inane), and I tried to tell these families that. But they wouldn’t listen. They’d already been pulled in by the preacher’s slick spiel.

Jesus warned us about these kinds of teachings:

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15

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