(Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)
The planners hadn’t expected such a large turnout for the “seminar.” Jesus was teaching. They had to have “Professor” Jesus in a larger space to accommodate the “class.” Moving outside was the only logical solution – so outside went students, notebooks, pens and all.
Capitalizing on the outside visual aids, Jesus launched into a lecture that included a field, good seed, weeds or tares, harvesting, and reapers – and a vengeful farmer.
His teaching style included parables. After the class ended some of the students lingered, seeking to understand the parables of the weeds.
“Teacher, could you explain this parable to us? It’s a real mystery!”
Jesus then opens up the reality of the parable to them.
His teaching included some practical lessons for us.
Lesson One: Evil seeks to destroy the good.
In a gun factory a great bar of steel, weighing five hundred pounds and eight feet in length, was suspended vertically by a very delicate chain. Nearby a common bottlecork was suspended by a silk thread. The purpose was to show that the cork would set the steel bar in motion. It seemed impossible. The cork was swung gently against the steel bar, and the steel bar remained motionless. It was done again and again for ten minutes, and at the end of that time the bar gave evidence of feeling uncomfortable; a sort of nervous chill ran over it. Ten minutes later, and the chill was followed by vibrations. At the end of half an hour the great bar was swinging like a pendulum.
No man is mighty enough, in his own energy or will, to feel secure, if he is exposed to a constantly-repeated influence for evil.
Today my own heart is heavy. One of my good friends and fellow colleagues has just surrendered his ministerial credentials. An affair has ended his career, but, just as important, a brother in Christ has fallen. It reminds us that, steadily and surely, evil will work on the best of God’s people. We must keep ourselves close to God and out of compromising situations. Clergy and laity must be on guard for “Satan’s snare.”
Lesson Two: Know the difference between a weed and a seed.
We are sensible enough to know that both wheat and tares exist. Wheat, or the good seed of the kingdom, includes people who are interested in spiritual matters. They have an eye on the needs of a helpless and hopeless society; they are concerned for love, joy, peace, mercy, grace, positive attitudes, etc. That translates into practical points: a love that welcomes strangers into the group, or reaches out into a rest home, or develops a prison ministry, puts an arm around a child, encourages one to volunteer to teach a class, or work with teenagers…
A joy that comes from knowing God and brings smiles and laughter to a sick person…A peace that helps mediate an argument, or calms a troubled heart…Mercy that forgives a wrong…Grace that is open to all people…Or a positive attitude that seizes opportunities for righteousness.
A weed is just the opposite of a seed! So major on being a seed!
Lesson Three: Judgment comes in the end.
It is not hasty, but it comes. We want to ignore it, but it steadily comes like the seconds of time.
The microscopic photograph of a typewriter letter, which revealed a broken “k,” helped a big industry win a million-dollar patent suit. The broken staff of the “k,” hardly noticeable to the naked eye, did the trick.
Not only by our words may we be condemned, but by the crossing of a “t,” the dotting of an “I,” or the inflection of a tone in pronunciation.
There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed, unless it is blotted out by the blood of Christ.
Lesson Four: God is Judge.
God is the judge. He is the only one capable of doing it and the only one who has that right. The reason for that is that He is the one we sin against. The cross was the righteous judgment, so that God is “just and justifier of all who trust Christ” (Rom. 3:21-26).
If, as sinners, we continue to live in sin we have condemned ourselves already (John 3:17-21).
When the judgment comes and the plants have been plucked for the harvest I want to be a wheat! How about you (DGK)
2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build up the church, seek revival, and encourage pastors.