Last Sunday the Gospel lesson was the parable of the Sower and the Seeds. This Sunday the lesson is about the wheat and the weeds. Both of these are in Matthew 13 and both are rather interesting.
You can read the typical commentary on these parables, but I want to point out something a bit different. It’s an observation about the two parables.
I argue that these two parables aren’t primarily nice stories designed to teach a lesson. Rather, I see these stories as Jesus telling about his own life.
Take the parable of the sower and the seeds. The sower goes around and spreads seed and the seed falls on various ground – sometimes the birds pluck it up, sometimes the seed gets trampled on, sometimes the seed shoots up quick and dies right away. And sometime the seed falls on good soil and produces more seed.
Isn’t this exactly what Jesus did. He went around and spread the Good News about the kingdom of God far and wide – in lots of different places. In some cases the message was trampled by those who didn’t like it. In other places, the message grew quickly, but died off when the person understood that Jesus wanted their entire life. And in other cases, the message found good soil and bore fruit in that person’s life and spread to others.
In this week’s message, Jesus tells the parable of the wheat and the weeds and how they are allowed to grow together. Again, I see Jesus’ story here. Jesus doesn’t send down hellfire and condemnation to separate the weeds from the wheat – he allows both to grow together as he goes about his ministry.
And this is what we are called to also – to spread the Good News, to not be the culture police. Our job isn’t to change the culture around us to our way of thinking and believing. Rather it is to live differently and be an open invitation to a different way of living.