Sunday, June 12, 2011

Matthew 13:24-30


2. Wheat & the Tares (Imitation). 24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, ``The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 ``But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went away. 26 ``But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 ``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?' 28 ``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?' 29 ``But he said, `No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 `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 parable of the Sower was the key parable of the seven! The seed is the word-the message of the kingdom-the Gospel. Sowing in those days was done by scattering seed widely, not by carefully placing a seed into a pre-dug hole, hoping to water and watch the plant grow up. Sowing is the only action step Jesus sets up for the Kingdom. Sowing is THE KINGDOM ACTIVITY! In other words, we as disciples are to be sowing the seed of the Gospel indiscriminately in all that we do. The Gospel is the most important thing! And remember, THE GOSPEL IS JESUS, the seed is Jesus. We are to share Jesus-the life of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus, the love of Jesus, the light of Jesus-simply Jesus to our world. The 4 soils describe the ways in which the seed is received as it is sown.

Now, Jesus' second parable makes an observation and gives a caution: The observation-When you are doing the work of sowing, you will likely find tares that are sown along side the wheat. Tares are empty wheat pods-chaff without wheat kernels. False wheat looks like wheat, but isn't. He applies this observation in that the genuine wheat are those who believe in the Gospel and the tares are those who look good, but are not true believers. They are all together in the same field and it may be difficult to tell the difference.

The caution-The disciples ask Jesus if He wants them to gather up the tares out of the wheat field-to separate the wheat from the tares. Jesus quickly responds, "Allow both to grow together until the harvest." The reason being that if you attempt to pull out the tares from the what, you are likely to uproot the genuine wheat along with the tares. In other words, it is none of our business who is IN and who is OUT. Only Jesus knows for sure! And, if we try to separate the real believers from those who seem to be but are not, then we will most likely damage the genuine wheat in the process.

By the way, this is a favorite pastime of church leadership and it must be stopped! Jesus wants us to sow the seed and He will take care of the results. It's that simple, yet I find it most difficult for a control-freak like me. I want to help Jesus out a bit. BUT I must discipline myself to stick to sowing the seed of Jesus in the lives of everyone I meet-from the bank-teller to the toll-booth clerk to your superior to the policeman to the store clerk to the cleaning lady to your fiercest competitor. Sow the seed of Jesus everywhere you go! That's the action of the Kingdom!