Wednesday, June 13, 2007



Matthew 13:24-30

Out of all of the eight parables in this section of Matthew, the concept of sowing is the key thought and theme of Jesus' answer to what the Kingdom's going to look like now. In fact, as you make your way through these eight parables you will discover that there is only one of the eight that indicates any great effort on our part. That one is the parable of the Sower.

The seed is the word-the message of the kingdom-the Gospel or good news. 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 and THE KINGDOM-the seed is this Kingdom message regarding the King and His rule. 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: 24 Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like 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.

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?' 28 " 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

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.' "

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 that 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 or weeds are those who look good, but are not genuine followers of Jesus. They are all together in the same field and it may be difficult to tell the difference.

THE CAUTION? The servants' want them to gather up the tares out of the wheat field-to separate the wheat from the weeds. But the owner quickly responds, "Allow both to grow together until the harvest." The reason being that if you attempt to pull out the weeds from the wheat, you are likely to uproot the genuine wheat along with the weeds. In other words, it is none of your business who is IN and who is OUT. Only Jesus knows for sure! And, if we try to separate the genuine followers of Jesus 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 the Kingdom 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 and to your fiercest competitor. Sow the seed of the Kingdom everywhere you go. That's the one thing you are responsible to do in this life before Jesus returns. Just what are you busy doing, if it's not sowing the seed of the Kingdom? What could possibly be more important than this?