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the parable of the good seed and the weeds

“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” [b] (M)

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.’” (B)

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like (A) 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.

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast (C) (D)

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like (E) a mustard seed, (F) which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (G)

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?’

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. (K) 35 So was fulfilled (L) what was spoken through the prophet:

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

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?"

Horticultural sabotage

"No," he answered, "because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 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" (Matthew 13:24-30).

The servants want to help the farmer by uprooting the imposters, but they lack the sensitivity of the angelic harvesters. It’s not the job of the servants to make judgments about what is and isn’t actual wheat. Their job is to serve the farmer as He spreads the legitimate seed.

The specifics of this story would have made a lot more sense to Jesus’s original audience. When one farmer wanted to sabotage another, it wasn’t unheard of for them to sow bearded darnel into their wheat.

Isaiah says the coming Messiah will “proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance” (Isaiah 61:2). Early on in Jesus’ ministry (Luke 4:19), He got up and read this, but stopped halfway through the verse! What about the day of vengeance?

It does not mean passivity. It does not mean that you give up concern for another person’s spiritual condition. Jesus makes it clear that in this world, the wheat needs to grow alongside the weeds until the Son of Man comes.

6. The Growth

If God is so good, if Christ is so mighty, then why is there so much evil in the world?

The good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one. (Matthew 13:38)

Evil will grow alongside the good until the return of Christ. That is the teaching of Jesus, and we need this wisdom if we are to sustain a lifetime of ministry, because we need to understand the nature of the world in which we are living.