January 25 I Tuesday
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.” —Matthew 13:24-25
The Parable of the Weeds tells us that if the Son of Man is sowing His seed in the world, an enemy is also sowing his seed in the same field. Jesus explained to His disciples, “The One who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil” (Matthew 13:37-39).
Wherever God is at work, we can be sure the devil is at work as well. The devil’s purpose is to counterfeit the work of God with something that looks real but is unreal. Within the kingdom of God, the devil will always offer an attractive alternative to Jesus Christ, and it is often not easy to distinguish between the real and the counterfeit. This is conveyed by Jesus when the servant asked the owner about the weeds, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?” His answer was, “No, because while you are pulling up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest” (Matthew 13:29-30).
There is going to be a harvest time, “the end of the age,” and there will be “harvesters,” the angels who Jesus will send to sort the weeds from the wheat. This parable is not about false teaching so much as it is about false Christians, people who present themselves as part of the real thing but are, in fact, false. False Christianity will inevitably lead to false teaching, but at the harvest when the fruit is evident, it will be easier to identify and handle. We are, however, not to set out on a crusade to purify the church of any false ingredient because if we attempt to do so, we would fail and cause much damage.
On the day of separation of the real from the false, the bad seed will face the prospect of a fiery furnace where all will be lost and destroyed. The good seed, “the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43). In the end, the kingdom will be pure, but in the meantime, it is infiltrated. Were we to look over a fence to the field where weeds were growing amongst the wheat, we would not be impressed, but this is the picture so far of the kingdom of heaven as the world perceives it.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for these parables that teach me the importance of being real in my Christian faith and belonging to Your kingdom. May I continue to grow in Your truth.