Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
“The gardener’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let them both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
– Matthew 13:24-30
Have you ever felt so frustrated with all the evil you see and hear about every day that you wonder why God doesn’t just zap everybody and get it over with? Some days it seems like the world is filled with nothing but ugliness, hatred and unkindness. I’ve had moments when I’ve prayed that God would just take away all the hate-filled people and sinful activities so there would be nothing but kind and caring people sharing the same oxygen I breathe. It would be beautiful, wouldn’t it? But then I remember that that is what Heaven will be like, filled with love and people who share an inheritance of everlasting life with the God of the universe. And unfortunately, we aren’t in Heaven yet!
I find it interesting that I may not be the only one who feels this way. In fact, it may not be a new feeling at all. If Jesus felt it was an important enough and relevant topic to teach about in a parable, then I have to believe that even those living in Jesus’ day must have felt the same way and maybe prayed the same prayer.
There is a lesson here that shouldn’t be missed. There will be ugliness in the world. There will be people who treat you unkindly. There will be disgusting images and conversations that will try to convince you that sin is no longer a big deal; that if we are true “christians” we would be more accepting, more open minded, more willing to blur the lines between what God says is right versus what the world says is right.
But do you know what? That’s just the weeds busily intertwining themselves in and around the good seed. If the plant growing from the good seed doesn’t have a strong enough root system, the weeds will easily choke it out and it will eventually die. And weeds have a tendency to look an awful lot like a good plant until it gets big enough that pulling it out would damage the good around it.
The Bible says that God doesn’t want anyone to perish, or die. His ultimate desire is for everyone to know Him and love Him and give their life to Him. But Satan has other plans. His desire is for everyone to turn their back on God, to believe that sin is good and goodness is sin, and to doubt God’s very existence.
I wonder if God’s patience with the weeds growing among the wheat is a picture of His patience for a world that needs Him so badly but doesn’t fully understand that just yet. I wonder if He knows there is hope for the good seed to grow so strong and sturdy that the weeds don’t have a chance. Rather than the weeds choking out the good, the good will overcome the evil, making room for more of the good harvest our Father desires for His creation.
I love Jesus’ parables. I love the down to earth lessons I can learn and easily understand when I allow His words to speak to my heart and mind. I love that God chooses to open my eyes to lessons and stories all around me that show even more examples of His love. I pray that He will continue to use my simple stories to point everyone who reads them to better know and understand how deep and high and wide and long God’s love is for each and everyone of us!
And in case you were thinking that the parables Jesus shared were simply clever stories or entertainment for the masses, the Bible tells us straight up why He used them in His teaching:
Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, He never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: “I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.” – Matthew 13:34-35