Monday 06 May 2013

Bible Book:

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away.” (vv. 24-25)

Matthew 13:24-30 Monday 6 May 2013


Today's passage is commonlycalled "the parable of the weeds among the wheat," or "the parableof the wheat and tares". Matthew 13 begins with Jesus going down tothe sea to teach: crowds have grown so great that he has put out ina boat to address the people gathered on the beach (verses1-2). Rather than give explicit rules for living he usesparables to show what life in the kingdom of heaven is like.

The Gospel account itselfincludes record of people being confused by Jesus' parables andquestioning what they mean. It is as if the substance of theteaching itself includes drawing people into a lively questioningrelationship with Jesus.

The disciples challenged Jesusdirectly (eg Matthew 13:10) about why he was using thesesometimes strange stories instead of being more direct in histeaching. And the Gospel writer often interweaves explanation ofthe stories (sometimes in private with the disciples, sometimespublic) with Jesus' teaching itself. In these, contemporary readerscan see the early Church grappling with the meanings much as we dotoday. An interpretation of today's passage follows in Matthew 13:36-43, for example: the field is theworld, the good seed "children of the kingdom", and the bad seed"children of the evil one". The reapers are angels, and the harvestthe "end of the age".

Today's passage does not giverules or regulations, but it does suggest good ethical behaviourfor Christians living in diverse situations. To try to form a purecommunity in this age would be both foolish and counterproductive.In the kingdom of heaven, the parable suggests, discernment as towhat is weed and what is wheat belongs to God and will be settledat the end of time. Christians seek to live in, and for the kingdomof heaven. And as the passage begins in verse 24, "the kingdom ofheaven may be compared to …" a place where the good and bad seedcontinue to grow together until a time of God's choosing, not ourown.

To Ponder

  • How comfortable are you with an interpretation of this parablethat counsels non-resistance to evil?
  • How far do you think this parable relates to the Church, howfar to the wider community?
  • Might there be good seed and bad, "wheat and weeds", in eachperson?
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