Matthew 13:24-43

If you have done planting of any kind you know the reality of properly preparing the soil, planting seed for only the plant you want to grow but still having weeds grow in your garden. It can be frustrating but it is the reality. For the serious gardener, time is taken to weed the garden or plant bed so that only the desired plants are left. Anyone who has spent any time weeding has had the experience more than once of pulling up a weed and unfortunately pulling up the good plant as well. No matter how careful one is, there will be those occasions. When that happens, you try to replant the good plant but there is no guarantee it will survive. Sometimes a gardener will realize the particular riskiness of pulling a certain weed and therefore will simply let it stay. Most likely a gardener will trim the weed, but not pull it.

In this section of Matthew 13, Jesus tells a parable that recognizes the reality that intermingled with the children of God will be weeds or rather the children of the devil. God’s children would always prefer that God would simply remove the bad people from amongst us and live only the good. Life should would be simpler. However, I’m reminded that the difference between people and weeds is that God can transform people. Therefore, maybe God leaves them in hopes that they will be transformed. Whatever the case here is what the parable that Jesus told assures us–in the end the good will be separate from the bad. That tells me that I can take comfort in knowing that serving the Lord is not in vain. “The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father” (Matthew 13:43). Subsequently, those who are evil will be thrown “into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:42). Besides being comfort that in the end the righteous will be vindicated, as believers we should understand as well that it is not our position to judge the good from the bad in order to separate them. That responsibility will belong to God’s angels who in the end will do a perfect job weeding God’s garden. That’s good news. We can leave the weeding to God. I never liked weeding anyway!

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