The Wheat and the Weeds
“I thought we had a decent yard,” I told my wife. “But now I think we just have a weed farm!”
The weather finally cooled after a record-setting summer. It had been so hot and dry that we struggled just to keep our yard from dying. Then the temperature dropped and it rained. I’ve never seen dandelions so large. They were two feet wide in places. We could have made enough salad to feed a village. (I hear they’re good for that, but I hate them too much to even try eating them.)
Other weeds sprawled out in a tangle of carpet beneath the grass, threatening to choke it off. Fortunately, the rain softened the ground enough to allow me to pull the roots, because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you have to get the roots or the weeds will grow back.
Jesus Knew About Weeds
Jesus knew a thing or two about weeds. So did his audience, which is why he spoke about them.
The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. And when the wheat sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also became evident. And 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 weeds?’ 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; while you are gathering up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and at the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’ (Matthew 13:24-30)
When my wife asked what we had done to have such a weedy yard, I said, “Nothing.” Which is exactly what we had done. We hadn’t tended to our yard, and the unwanted seeds – whether in the ground, the wind, bird droppings, critters’ feet, or wherever else it comes from – did what they naturally do in this world: produce weeds.
When God created the world, He said, “It is good.” His creation had no weeds. No sorrow, no sickness, no violence, no suffering. Through sin, the weeds came. We’ve been dealing with them ever since. When Jesus came, God’s kingdom came near because His Son is the essence of the kingdom. Yet the enemy keeps sowing seeds, whispering lies to the hearts and minds of people. When those lies take root, they grow. When they reach their diabolical maturity, they act. When they act, we get evil in the midst of glory. The weeds in Jesus’ parable represent “sons of the evil one.” Yet we, the wheat, live as “sons of the kingdom” side-by-side with them (v 38).
Consider the Middle East right now. You won’t hear it on the news, but there is revival in many Muslim nations, including Iran. Jesus appears to people in dreams and they are drawn to Him. The underground church is growing. Yet the Mullahs waging jihad on the Jews and “infidels” have funded Hamas and other Islamic terror groups to perpetrate shocking crimes on innocent people. These are the weeds tangled with the wheat.
Closer to home, we see revivals on college campuses even as radical gender ideology seems to be thriving. We see scores of people forsaking their religious upbringing, yet seeking answers in a world that makes little sense. Many of them are finding that unwavering foundation by returning to God’s word while shaking off the lifeless traditions of men. Sons and daughters of the evil one are being transformed into children of the kingdom.
Perhaps in your life, you’re experiencing the results of both weeds and wheat. You may be suffering a health issue, fractured family relationships, or financial hardship, yet experiencing inexplicable peace, joy, and hope. That is the beauty of God’s kingdom. It is here, even in the midst of difficulty. No matter how dark the night may be, there is always a light that can never be extinguished. To the contrary, it will overtake the darkness, both in this world and in your life.
How Do We Harvest More Wheat than Weeds?
How do we harvest more wheat than weeds? I think the key lies in two things. First, we must realize that weeds will grow. Deception will drive people to evil. Don’t let their presence discourage you. Keep sowing good seed in your life and the lives of those around you. Work to expand God’s kingdom reign. Second, we can stay alert and pray for strength, as Jesus urged His disciples before their calamitous times (Luke 21:36). This life is a short season. There will be joy and there will be pain. We cannot untangle the horror from the beauty, but we can live in His kingdom and bring others into it. And when our time on this messy earth is over, we will see the full harvest. So take heart, be encouraged, and discover the joy of expanding the kingdom of heaven.