If you have ever written a sermon, Bible study, devotion or talk for adults, youth or children, you will know that every sermon, study, devotion, and talk you prepare is prepared for yourself before it is presented to others. This is rather daunting, because when you are seeking holiness before the Lord, your message to others ought to convict you before it does them. This happens to me all too often!
Well, today I spent the day in the garden. This is the first time since winter started because today was lots warmer. Ever since we moved into this house, a part of the lawn had a funny type of greenery in it. It looks like grass, but different to the main grass. Well, winter dished out a few cold nights leaving frost on the lawn, plants, trees and roof tops in the mornings. Everything was affected, either killing or damaging … and the lawns did not escape the punishment. So here’s the thing, the grass is brown … but the funny type of greenery is rich and flourishing. It turns out it is weed. It grows with the grass almost unnoticed. This weed spreads its leaves into the grass and builds body. You don’t notice it at all. Yet, for my benefit, the harsh winter frost exposed these weeds because the grass was brown. Well, there I was on my knees for hours going up and down the infected section, slowly removing the weed. It was a tiring, back breaking exercise. After a good four hours, I had two and a half green garbage bags full of this weed. You need to be on your knees, strategically moving up and down the lawn to spot the many hidden weeds because not all of the lawn is brown. I am delighted spring will start with little or no weed in the lawn. Naturally, you know where I’m going!
Mt 13:24 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 root up 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.’”
I feel we would be like the disciples having limited spiritual insight and little interpretation ability:
Mt 13:36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Jesus tells a parable about the Kingdom of God. Unnoticed, the enemy sows weeds amongst the wheat. Once the weed’s growth is noticed, the farmer’s servants ask whether they should remove the weeds … the farmer says no. To prevent removing wheat as well as weeds, the servants must let them grow together until the harvest and collect the weeds first and ready them for the fire, then harvest the wheat and store then in the barn. The disciples were confused … and as soon as they could they asked Jesus for an explanation. Jesus explains that He, the Son of Man, sows Gospel seed throughout the world. He says the good seed refers to the sons of the Kingdom. Notice the weeds are the sons of the evil one, the devil–he sows … and by implication, he sows throughout the world!
Within the visible Church, there are wheat and weed. The wheat are believers and the weed are non-believers. It’s strange that Jesus permits the weed (the sons of the evil one) to flourish in the visible Church with the wheat (sons of God’s Kingdom). All were part of the evil one before salvation … but it seems the sons of the evil one are those who will never repent and believe and be saved. They obstruct the smooth functioning of the Church. They are trouble makers and stir up all sorts of chaos at business meetings and amongst the fellowshipping saints. They prey upon the innocent believer because the innocent believer expects true believers to be in the Church … and they are vulnerable and often get side tracked or coerced into participating in some sort of sin or the other.
Take the man who started dating a younger lady. I warn him of her vulnerability … yet he pursued her until they had sex. Then he dumped her and both left the Church. Or how often have people sweetened up to someone in the church eventually exposing their financial need … and once the money is lent, the borrower can’t be found and the money is never returned? But it’s not all that dreary … Jesus will send His angels to weed the Church, casting all the weeds (sons of the evil one) into eternal damnation. Look at verses 41-42. The spiritual harvest will result in the wicked being cast into the fiery furnace (hell), and then it’s too late for weeping, but they will coupled to the gnashing of teeth. They might be destructive in the Church on Earth, but their sentence has been issued already!
This calls for diligence on our part. Prayerfully seek spiritual people to love, serve and enjoy in the Church. Don’t allow yourself to be open, transparent and vulnerable until you know the heart of those around you.
Dear God, thank You for Your Word. Please protect me from the sons of the evil one. Graciously bring the sons of the Kingdom close to me so that we might love and serve each other for the glory of our God. Amen.