Matthew 13:24-30: http://www.biblestudytools.com/esv/matthew/13.html
I was inspired to write this post after learning about the parable of the weeds.
This Sunday afternoon I sat in church convicted as the Speaker spoke to us about this parable. Prior to this week, we looked at how Jesus touched on the different responses people can have to the word of God (Matthew 13:1-9). I had read this parable before and I never really thought anything of it, just like the rocky ground I read the word, but it didn’t penetrate, I lacked understanding so what I thought I got from it was forgotten by the next day. However, when it was preached this time round, I was blessed enough to get a conviction from it. Jesus spoke in parables to teach people about God and his kingdom. In this case, the parable was about wheat and weeds. When reading through verse 24 down to 30, we read that, in the field, a farmer was growing wheat, and in that same field weeds were also being sown by the enemy, but rather than quickly tearing the weeds out he just left them to grow. One of the questions raised when reading this was “Why would the farmer allow the weeds to grow with the wheat and rob them of their nutrients?”. Why would the farmer let the weeds interfere with the growth of the wheat?
That was a good question. He went on to talk about the wheat and weeds a little further, and it was discovered that in regards to planting the two; when they begin to grow, they are very hard to differentiate at first they look identical before they are ripe. The wheat and the weed (or tares) are only distinguishable at harvest time, when they are ready to be plucked out (Just to let you know, I know nothing about farming, I am a city girl so when it comes to farming I am referring to the information which was provided).
So this is understandable, it will make more sense as I go along as to why the farmer would allow the two to coexist.
What stood out to me from all this was the fact that at one point the two are impossible to tell apart which is interesting. The underlying issue for me here is that of deception. This is where it struck a nerve; this is where it started to get a lil too real for me. If you’ve read my first blog post, about how I found my walk with God after getting baptised, you would remember that lies and deceit was something I confessed to have struggled with terribly, and it is still something I struggle with today. In the sense that when I have done something wrong I am usually faced with the temptation to cover it up and pretend that it never happened. The bible already tells us that Satan is the father of lies.
Lie: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
Deceit: is the quality that prompts intentional concealment or perversion of truth for the purpose of misleading
Lying is indeed a form of deceit as it is a distortion of the truth and according to the definitions above, the intention of a lie is to deceive which I agree with. So it is no surprise that satan is the enemy that we read about here, he is the author of deception and confusion. Jesus explains later in the same chapter, that the farmer is himself, the Son of man, while the field is the world. The bad seeds (weeds) are the sons of satan, the wheat, the goods seeds are the sons of God’s kingdom.
It amazes me that God’s word is as relevant now as it was back then, and the fact that at this present time many can appear to be seen as good or even godly. That doesn’t give us the right to start judging people, but we are aware of the good and bad that is happening all around us, and we are called to judge rightly. At the end of the age God will expose the weeds among us, because HE is the judge and his time is coming where he will also separate the two groups.
I see this as an invitation for us to really check our hearts while we still have time. To learn more about God and what he requires of us. Where do we stand with him? The challenge here is for us to recognize our own weeds, and acknowledge the areas where we might have let the enemy creep in and sown into our lives and begin to uproot them.
The seeds of satan represent sin anything that can cause us to sin, and even become idols in our lives. God hates that so much because once upon a time it was our sin that separated us from him. God loves us and longs to have deep intimate relationship with each of us and that is the main purpose for why he gave us Jesus. He came to die so that we may live the life that God intended for us in the beginning. (Let’s just pause for a minute and take that in…..Amen)
We all have struggles especially with sin:
the heart is deceitful, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
But by the grace of God, it is now possible to have this relationship with God through Jesus; it is possible that we can be genuine sons and daughters of God.
What seed does my heart currently represent and how do I make sure I am the wheat?
I want to believe I am the wheat in this case, after all I’m a Christian, but I have realised that there are some weeds that I have allowed to grow in my life that need some serious uprooting. The great thing about God is that it he speaks to us through his word. It is alive and living, sharper than any double edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12) So when we read the word and begin to feel challenged by it or inspired; it is because God is expecting some kind of response from us. We are all sinners and we fall short of God’s glory, but if you can be humble enough to make yourself transparent (and I mean being open about your weaknesses) you are putting yourself in a better position to receive help and healing than you would if you just kept it to yourself. Live in the light, expose your heart, the struggles and weaknesses that you have to someone you trust, (a Christian of course), maybe an elder in the church or the person discipling you. Someone who may be spiritually more mature than you, in that particular area you’re struggling with, will be able to help you see your situation form another perspective. Just don’t keep your struggles a secret between you and satan.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working…. James 5:16
but if we [really] walk in the Light [that is, live each and every day in conformity with the precepts of God], as He Himself is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another [He with us, and we with Him], and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin [by erasing the stain of sin, keeping us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations]. 8 If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude ourselves and the truth is not in us. [His word does not live in our hearts.] 9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose]. 1st John 1:7-9
To pursue righteousness we have to walk constantly in the light. As hard and uncomfortable as I find it to be open about my sins, it has always done more good for me than harm. I am currently being challenged to not just confess my sins, but to also confess my temptations. Temptation often leads us to sin, (when we give in of course) and I just believe that it would be better to uproot that seed before it grows rather than doing something we will later regret and condemn ourselves for.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. 21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails…. Proverbs 19:20-21
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing….1st Thessalonians 5:11
Honesty is the best policy and it helps to have people who can hold you accountable to your actions and also pray with you. It is a reflection of how much we are loved by God. He wants us to be the wheat. He wants for us to be so good that whatever it takes to get us there, he is willing to go through and endure it with us. He has already accomplished this through his son, because he knows we can never reach perfection on our own.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; Isaiah 43:2
The above scripture says WHEN (not if but when) which indicates that it won’t be easy, we will face hardships, we will have to make tough decisions, and let go of things that we don’t want to. When we go through life, He has promised that he will be with us, we won’t go through it alone but we should obey and trust that he is with us as we choose to do right by Him.
So what now?
Jesus ended the parable with this, “He who has ears, let him hear” (vs 43) The kingdom of God is known to be a big mystery, which is why Jesus always spoke about it in parables he often related them with things to do with land, agriculture and farming, and whatever the people in those times could relate with. But still not everyone understood them and even now not everyone will understand the things and the mysteries of God. Some will get it but later forget, some will hear, but because of their hard hearts, they won’t even respond, some will bear no fruit from it because they would have been choked by the worries and things of this world. (Read the whole chapter 13 to understand the context) But for those of us who want to understand and want to figure it out we must come to him. Jesus preached this parable to the crowds but it wasn’t until after, when they were alone with him, did the disciples ask for clarification on the topic. God wants us to come to him with the same eagerness;
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true… Acts 17:11
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings… Proverbs 25:2
I’ll end it with this, we are fortunate enough to serve a God who is patient and kind, He is giving us the time and opportunity to mature into wheat and to encourage others to do the same. So as God has given us his word, we are called to live by that word, and seek Him for ourselves while we still have the time. Not only that but to sow the seeds of the word of God to others, showing the same level of compassion, just as God did to us even while we were still dead in our sin.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Matthew 9: 35-38
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2nd Timothy 2:15
If you love me, you will keep my commandments…John 14:15