GROWING TOGETHER, FOR NOW
Loving Father, I am many things to many people, but in your sight I am your child. Thank you Lord.
Read Matthew 13:36–43
The Parable of the Weeds Explained
36 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.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 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. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
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.
As I reflect on these challenging words of Jesus, may I know afresh the assurance of being a child of God.
Once again, the disciples ask Jesus for a map to help them through a maze. We’re left to wonder if they’d understood the other parables; nonetheless, Matthew notes that they sought an explanation from Jesus regarding the wheat and weeds. In response, Jesus presents a systematic explanation. Each of the characters is clearly identified, along with the eschatological perspective of the scene presented. Often when considering the parables that Jesus told, the fitting response is to ask ourselves what we would do. However, here Jesus is presenting the natural growth of discipleship within a milieu of conflicting beliefs as being the norm. It’s as if he is saying: amid competing pressures, ‘simply let yourself grow’. As DA Carson notes, ‘This parable explains how it is possible for the kingdom to be present in the world while not wiping out all opposition.’1
As with me, your natural inclination may be to implore God to root out the weeds now, as the presence of weeds appears so destructive to the unhindered growth of the wheat. However, we must proceed cautiously, as in the early stages of growth the weeds and wheat are almost impossible to distinguish. Indeed, as Jesus presented in the parable, the pulling of the weeds by the servants would also uproot good wheat (v 29). ‘“It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.’2
Furthermore, may we remember with Augustine (quoted by JC Ryle): ‘Those who are tares today, may be wheat tomorrow.’3 May we be granted the wisdom to avoid using God’s patience as an excuse for doing nothing and to warn others of a judgment to come. However, may we also rest satisfied that God will judge fairly in his sovereign timing.4
Perhaps we need to be reminded by the psalmist: ‘Be still, and know that I am God’.5
Lord, I know the Christian life is not a playground, but a battleground. I rejoice in the victory I have in Christ, and pray for vigilance in my daily life.
1 Carson, ‘Matthew’, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol 8, Zondervan, 1984, p317 2 Rom 12:19 3 Ryle, Matthew, Aneko, 2020, p131 4 Ps 75:2 5 Ps 46:10
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.