Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
By Rev. Dr. Sergio E. Arevalo, Jr.
July 20, 2014 (6th Sunday after Pentecost)
In the agricultural society of Christ’s time, farmers depended on the quality of their crops. An enemy sowing weeds would have sabotaged a business. The weeds in the parable were likely darnel because that weed, until mature, appears as wheat.
Without modern weed killers, what would a wise farmer do in such a dilemma? Instead of tearing out the wheat with the weeds, the farmer in this parable wisely waited until the harvest. After harvesting the whole field, the weeds could be separated and burned. The wheat would be saved in the barn (gotquestions.org).
Jesus Christ explained the parable of the weeds and the wheat (Mt. 13:36-43). The sower is the Son of Man/God and the enemy is the devil. The good seeds are the kingdom citizens, and weeds are the hell citizens. The harvest is the end time where the angels will reap first the weeds, and save the wheat.
I. The Weeds and the Wheat: Hell Citizens and Kingdom Citizens.
You might ask, “Why the Lord does not pull the bad people out from earth?” Sometimes we are like the servants of sower, we are impatient, “Lord, do you want us to go and pull them out?” (13:28).
We are impatient since there are no new members in our midst. We are impatient when our youth is not yet active. We are impatient since we don’t reach yet our goals in life. We are impatient with many things. The parable is teaching us to be patient, and wait for the harvest time or for God’s time.
What do you think when the master let his servants pull out the weeds among the wheat? Disaster! That’s what the master was perceiving. Disaster is perceived by the master because it’s not yet time.
The parable is also teaching us not to “sleep.” In the parable, the enemy sowed tares when the sower and servants were sleeping. The enemy will do his thing when we do not watch it.
“Sleeping” means “not watching the work of the devil,” “not watching our own behavior and language,” “not watching our own minds and hearts,” “laziness and lackadaisical –lacking vitality and purpose.” “Sleeping” is when we are guarding others, and we are not guarding ourselves. That’s reality among health practitioners.
Check our relationship with our God. Check our relationship with our church. Do we communicate with him regularly? Do we help the church to attain its vision-mission? Or we are the ones that “cause others to sin and those who practice lawlessness?” (13:41).
II. The Weeds and the Wheat: Their Characteristics.
In the parable, it shows that the plants are hard to identify. They seem the same. In their physical appearance they are almost the same. The wheat is same with weeds or tares (Lolium Temulentum). That’s why when the servants offer to the master that they are going to pull out the weeds, the master knows it is hard to identify them in the early stage, especially if his house servants are not trained in the field, so he says, “No!”
But how to identify the wheat from tares? Later on during the harvest time, the wheat will bear good fruits, and of course, the tares will not bear wheat fruits.
The story is told of a farmer in a Midwestern state who had a strong disdain for “religious” things. As he plowed his field on Sunday morning, he would shake his fist at the church people who passed by on their way to worship.
October came and the farmer had his finest crop ever–the best in the entire county. When the harvest was complete, he placed an advertisement in the local paper which belittled the Christians for their faith in God. Near the end of his diatribe he wrote, “Faith in God must not mean much if someone like me can prosper.”
The response from the Christians in the community was quiet and polite. In the next edition of the town paper, a small ad appeared. It read simply, “God doesn’t always settle His accounts in October” (William E. Brown).
The Harvest is sure, and that’s the completion of the Kingdom of God. Are we are ready to welcome it in our lives?