Even the best garden needs to have the weeds pulled to remain healthy. Even the best grass seed may contain a few weeds. Jesus taught that the Word of God is a seed that will grow the kingdom of God (Luke 8:11). He went on to teach in another parable that an enemy would also be planting seed at the same time. This seed planting would be an effort to intermingle the good crop with a useless crop. This is Jesus teaching us that our world is intermingled with good and evil. The devil is trying his best to disrupt the kingdom of God by planting weeds that infiltrate the church.
“Jesus told them another parable: “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 (NIV)
In this parable, the landowner’s workers ask if they should pull the weeds but he directs them to leave the weeds in place. The problem is that these weeds are so insidious they are impossible to remove without disrupting the good crop. The solution is to allow the weeds to grow and then remove them at the time of harvest.
“No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.” Matthew 13:29-30 (NIV)
This parable gives us an insight into the cat and mouse game being played by God and the devil. God can destroy the devil at any time, but for reasons we may never fully understand He is allowing him to play his game. In the end the devil’s disruption will be destroyed and the Lord’s harvest will be undamaged.
Jesus wants us to know He is allowing evil to flourish to some extent in our world; He also wants us to know that he is in full control of these weeds and will eradicated them in the end. While there is no precise explanation as to why God has designed things to work in this way, it seems safe to assume there ultimately is some benefit for those of us who endure this cross-contamination. Our eternal existence must somehow be enhanced by the experience of sorting through good and evil on a daily basis. Repetition is one of the best teaching tools. Navigating around evil as a matter of routine is the kind of repetition that will likely help us develop a clear understanding of the dark side. Apparently, the ability to easily identify evil will be useful to us in the world beyond.
Answer each question as though you were speaking privately to Jesus. Don’t just answer yes or no, explain your answer completely to yourself and to the Lord.
Are you aware of the battle between good and evil in this world?
Do you believe the enemy is working to disrupt God’s purpose?
How have you seen the enemy working in your life?
How have you seen the enemy working in the lives of those around you?
What value is there in being challenged by the enemy on a regular basis?
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