The Parable of the Weeds

Everyday with God
The Parable of the Weeds
Matthew 13:24-30
When I moved to Africa for the first time, I remember receiving many warnings about the airport. The two main warnings were 1) don’t let anyone help you with your bags, and 2) make sure to find transportation before you land. Both of these things were said because numerous tourists were taken advantage of at the airport. Some tourists would allow their bags to be carried by someone, only to see that person run off with them, their bags never to be seen again. Or people would prepay for a taxi cab, only to see the individual they just paid run off with their money! Thankfully I listened to the advice, but I remember thinking these people all seem trustworthy. And maybe they were, but according to history this wasn’t the case. It was extremely difficult to discern between the honest and righteous person and the deceitful and wicked person.
 
In the parable of the weeds, Jesus also tells us it can be hard to discern between the righteous and wicked. The illustration for the righteous (saved person) and the wicked (unsaved) is that of wheat and weeds. In our day and age these are very distinct and easy to separate, but that wasn’t the case back then. The type of weed spoken of in this parable was one that looked very similar to wheat until the harvest and you saw it up close. This leads to Jesus’ first point in this parable. God allows the righteous and wicked to coexist with one another, and sometimes we can’t tell the difference until the end of time when God separates them. This was true of many Jews in Jesus’ day, and even true of many ‘Christians’ today. Many may have had the appearance of wheat on the outside, yet internally are a weed. Some of the Jews walked, talked, and even tithed like a Jesus-follower, yet they did not have salvation.

Since God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, he doesn’t just destroy the weeds immediately. Often times we think he should just pull the weeds right away. Yet in this passage that wasn’t the case. Jesus gives the people a chance at redemption and a chance to be saved, which is the last point of the parable. On the day of harvest, the weeds will be judged, while the wheat will be gathered and rewarded.

So, what can we take away from this parable? First, we can remember that God is the judge. We have to recognize true justice doesn’t always take place on this earth. Though we stand for just things, we leave the judgment to God. Another thing we notice is that we must fix our eyes on the reward that is to come. We can’t lose sight of that reward and get bummed out by our earthly circumstances. Though they are worth grieving, clinging to hope in our sorrow is always possible. Nothing can separate us from that day of harvest when we reap our reward, eternity with Christ when all is made new.
 
Just for today-
 
+ Is it easy for you to move toward a posture of judgement of others?
+ Thank God that only he can see hearts and is the righteous judge.
+ Pray for humility and a heart to reach out to others.
Jay Quick | Student Ministries Director

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