Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
The kingdom of heaven, make no mistake, is the church we are a part of today. Through this parable Jesus teaches us that when He began the church He did so with good seed. He sowed perfect seed that would grow healthy crops. The seed is the true gospel that gives hope to all those who believe, and the crops are those who are obedient to the message of Christ.
Almost immediately after the church was established, temptations began to cause us to sin, and false teaching began to ravage the church (1 Corinthians 1:11ff; 1 Corinthians 5:1-2; Galatians 1:6-7; Galatians 2:11-14). This was not the plan of Christ, but rather the influence of the enemy, Satan.
Through the parable in Matthew 13, Jesus shows us that He will allow the error and the weeds to live alongside the good crop from the good seed until the time of the harvest. The time of harvest has reference to the judgment day, when all will be judged according to the Words of Christ (John 12:47-50).
The question, then, is, “Which are you?” Are you growing as good crops from good seed, or are you a weed that will be burned up on the judgment day?
Good news comes to all who recognize themselves as weeds: humans aren’t the same as plants. We have the opportunity to change who we are and who we follow, and ultimately where we will be taken on the judgment day.
Let’s all become wheat, growing off the pure spiritual food found in God’s Word, because the barn Jesus speaks of in His parable is not truly a barn, but rather stands for the eternal rest and peace that we find with the Father when we are faithful to His Word. Grow off the true, pure food that God gives you, and refuse to eat the spoiled weed seeds the world throws at you.
Eli Schnell is the Youth and Family Minister at the Northwest Church of Christ
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135