A MIXED BAG
Lord, thank You for making me a fruitful plant in Your garden.
Read MATTHEW 13:24–30
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “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?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 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.’”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (Psa. 24:1). Give thanks to God for the confidence this brings and pray for its widespread acknowledgment in our world.
Another quiet agricultural setting—far from the battlefields of political and military engagement—draws us into this parable. Distanced from the power-play of kings, this seems an inconsequential setting, but that is what the kingdom of heaven is like. For all its surface normality, it is a place of conflict, division and ultimate triumph.
Could sowing seed really paint a picture of a kingdom that will challenge and overthrow the kingdoms of this world? Our lives may seem commonplace and routine. We get on with the ordinary things of life, tending to the day-to-day necessities, loving God and loving our neighbor. From this comes fruitfulness, but not without enemy attack, working to undermine the quiet and patient work of the kingdom. There is opposition, with its attempt to hinder kingdom fruitfulness. It purports to undermine the fruit of the Spirit and to sow disunity in God’s community. Never be lulled into complacency about the nature of spiritual warfare just because it lacks drama or glamour. Timothy is urged to “fight the good fight” in the struggle for godliness (1 Tim. 6:11,12).
Does the farmer become flustered by the weeds among the wheat? No. He is confident that the enemy’s work cannot stop the growth of the seed. He can wait. The evil weeds of the enemy and the good plants of the kingdom will co-exist until harvest time. The farmer knows that anti-kingdom activity will punctuate history until the final harvest. At times, there will be what seems like a threat to the harvest, even what seems like an equal and opposite threat, but he can confidently predict the outcome. Matthew recalls this parable partly to reassure a church under pressure. As church attendance declines and Christianity gets marginalized, we need the same reminder today; God’s wheat cannot perish.
Bring your frustrations and sadness about the survival of evil in the world to God, who loves the world.
Lord, grant me the patience to bear with all the noxious weeds around me until Your harvest arrives.