A few weeks ago my neighbor was surprised with a new vegetable garden that was planted in her yard. She was puzzled at first on who would take the time to prep the soil and sow the seed. She later found out that her niece wanted to bless her with something new and tilled the little bit of soil and then put the seeds in the ground. My neighbor new right away that it would take work to care for that garden. Within a few days the seeds began to germinate and the vegetables began to grow. As the weeks passed to my amazement the vegetation began to grow and small tomatoes and peppers could be seen. The sun was strong and the weeds tried to choke out the plants but thanks to some care from my neighbor they got strong and healthy.
In the “Parable of the weeds” we find Jesus once again teaching a thought provoking lesson about what the Kingdom of heaven is like. The opening of this parable would draw the listener in, for there were some that wanted to find fault in Jesus and others who were drawn to this teacher who taught with such authority. This parable is one of three that Matthew documented; the others being the “Parables of the mustard seed” and the “Parable of the yeast” each addressing how the kingdom would grow. In verses 24-30, we find Jesus telling the parable and then explaining it verses 36-43. In the opening verses we find a man who sowed good seed in his fields, while the man was resting the enemy sowed weeds in the midst of the good seed. The seeds began to germinate and the workers in the field noticed the weeds mixed in with the good seed that had been sown. The workers wanted to pull the weeds and the landowner concerned for his crop said not to until harvest time; at that appointed time he would remove the weeds and then harvest his crop. I can imagine the listeners of this parable trying to break it down as we would today. They were trying to figure out why wouldn’t the man pull the weeds immediately? Who is the landowner? Who sowed the bad seed? Even though being agriculturally minded they would understand what he was saying they still were pondering questions. The disciples were puzzled and went to Jesus after a bit and asked him what you meant in this parable. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall as they asked him, Jesus what did you mean by this, is this what you meant, or were you referring to this. In Jesus’ explanation he says that the one that sowed the good seed was the son of man (Jesus), the field is the world, the good seed is the sons of the kingdom (see 1 John 1:12), the bad seed is the sons of the evil one and the sower is the devil. The harvesters at the time of harvest are the angels of God and they will separate the good seed from the bad seed.
This parable reminds us of a few practical points that are sown throughout Jesus’ teachings in his parables. The first is that the landowner is God, and we are servants within the kingdom. In this parable we are reaffirmed in that we are not only servants but children of God. Secondly, we are reminded that there are those that are a part of the kingdom, those who have accepted the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and those who have rejected it or made it to suit their philosophical belief system. Thirdly, we are reminded that there will be a day of harvesting, judgment, & separation that will take place and the landowner, knows the time and day. Another key point to address is that the angels of God will separate and reap the harvest.
As sons of the kingdom we must be imitators of Christ, a people that see Christ’s example as found in scripture as an example or model for us to align our lives with. I have said it over and over that “if we would spend more time examining our own hearts and motives before the Holy Spirit, we would spend less time in other people’s business and out of trouble.” When our Lord returns, may we be found faithful and fruitful, members of the kingdom.