“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn”. –Matthew 13:30
This account in Matthew chapter 13 tells about the Parable of the Weeds. As the story says, a man has sown good wheat seeds in his field but during the night, his enemy has come and has sown tares among the wheat so that when the wheat sprouts have sprung and have produced crops, the tares have grown as well. When his servants have seen this, they have come to their master to report what has happened and have asked his permission to uproot the tares among the wheat. However, their master has not allowed them to uproot the tares because he is afraid that could uproot wheat sprouts also in the process. He has told them to let things be until harvest time, then, he would ask the reapers to separate the wheat among the tares and bring the wheat to his barn while the tares; they will throw into the fire.
There are four points that we can see from this gospel lesson:
- The clear presence of good and evil in this world The parable shows a clear picture of the presence of good and evil among men. It tells us that our enemy, he devil has planted his influence among us to prevent us from bearing good fruits, hurt us and annoy us to the point of giving up in the faith. He could use people around us to distract us and lose our focus on our God.
- Bad things happen to good people An age old question persistently occurs in the minds of many; “Why do bad things happen to good people?” This is one serious question that is so hard to answer. Yes, bad things happen even to godly people because precisely, the intention of the evil one is to create doubts in their hearts regarding the goodness of God and spell trouble in their minds.
- The patience and loving-kindness of God This parable speaks of the end time judgment when God will finally redeem his people and send the devil and his cohorts to eternal damnation in hell. God delays the punishment for evil until the last day so that his people will not suffer the punishment that is not for them. As humans, when people wrong us, we want quick judgment and apply the appropriate punishment as the legal dictum says, “Justice delayed is justice denied”. The timeline of God’s punishment and judgment is different. He delays the punishment to save the innocent. Here we can see the patience of God toward people and his loving-kindness toward those who are His.
- The need to enrich the good seeds In view of this truth, we can see the need to enrich the spiritual health of God’s people. Evil is the most creative force in the world and we need to equip the people of God to be victorious over it. Our Christian love, prayers and helping hands are like water and fertilizer to one another. We, as Christians should go and nourish each other with the word of God most especially within our churches then we also need to proclaim God’s words to people outside that they too may know about the Lord’s salvation.
Digested from: Sermon by: Rev. Orlino Veron, Administrative Pastor, Lagro, United Methodist Church, July 17, 2011, based on Matthew 13:24-30
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