23rd June 2017

Grow Until the Harvest 

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘…Let both grow together until the harvest.’”
Matthew 13:28-30 (NIVUK)

Sometimes, when Jesus told a parable, it was a tale of the unexpected, and no more so than the parable about the story of the wheat and the weeds.

It doesn’t seem to make sense. An enemy had sown weeds among the good seeds of wheat, and the farm workers wanted to pull them up. But the field owner said, no, don’t do it: wait until the harvest time. Why would you wait until then before getting rid of the weeds? Surely you would want to clear out the weeds sooner rather than later, before they could take root and compromise the wheat crop.

Some Christians wonder whether now is the time to pull up and destroy the spiritual weeds we see growing around us. Should we not root out counterfeit religions? Should that be our aim? To champion true belief against false belief? Of course, we must stand up for what we believe and not be timid, but should we lead a charge against other religions or ridicule their adherents in trying to eradicate the opposition?

Jesus’ parable implies that it’s not our job to identify and pull up the spiritual weeds, even though we might want to do so, just as the servants wanted to pull up the tares in the verse above. How would Jesus’ listeners have reacted? Would they have thought it a bad idea to wait? Would this have shocked them?

Later Jesus identifies the weeds as “everything that causes sin and all who do evil” (v.41). It’s not just the persistently unrepentant evildoers who get weeded out, but it’s also all the causes, including false beliefs and philosophies, that would take people away from God and into sin.

As for the “good seed” in this parable, it just has to get on with growing side by side with bad stuff. Maybe the wheat growth will be so good that it’ll crowd out the weeds anyway. And, in this story, that’s us…the good seed of faith. Even though we’re surrounded by wrong ideas and people whose desire is evil, what we are called to do is to keep growing in the Lord. 

Thank you, Father, that you have begun your good work in us. Please help us not to get distracted by the evil around us, and to grow in maturity by the help of the Spirit. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson


About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This week James is speaking in our Baddow church

Local Congregation:
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