This is a brief series looking at every time Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like…”
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.’”
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.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Dear God, I think the first thing to notice about this is that the kingdom of heaven is here and now. This is part of the process. Yes, there is heaven, but we are its kingdom.
I wonder if this passage isn’t the answer to the age-old question, “Why does God allow evil in the world?” Well, first, it wasn’t place here by you, and, second, there’s no way to remove it without removing all of us (see Noah).
So what do I do with this? I think the first thing is to accept the idea that this is our world and I have a place in it. Evil is around me. Unfortunately, evil is in me. I am tainted by this world too. The evil takes water and nourishment that was meant for me. It exists at my expense. And I can feel its influence: greed, lust, hate, racism, insecurity, etc. It’s all there.
But my job is to grow. To be here, resist being choked out by the evil, lean into you for my nourishment and grow. In Texas we have weeds commonly referred to as sticker burs. They are the worst and you can’t kill them with chemicals. The chemicals only kill the grass around them and then they grow back stronger because they no longer have to compete with the grass. And by the time you realize what they are it’s too late. They have seeded and started to spread. No, apparently the only way to get rid of them is to choke them out with good grass. Give St. Augustine so much water that it will win its battle with the sticker burs.
Father, help me to be so attached to you as my nourishment that I will overcome the evil around me. Help me to reject the things that distract me and simply feed on you. I don’t want to be removed from the world. You can’t use me then. But I do want to remove any of my nourishment that comes from the world…Wow! Am I really ready to say that? Do I mean those words? Well, we’ll see I suppose. But help me to be so in touch with you that all of the evil that tries to consume my own life will be choked out. And please help your church in the same way. Help us all to thrive among the weeds and completely attach our roots to you.
In Jesus’s name I pray,