“A Lesson From Weeds”
June 9, 2015
We are at the shore (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware) for a couple of days. (Podcast not prepared)
“Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?” He replied, “An enemy did this” (Matthew 13:27b, 28a).
When we travel we usually stop at least once at a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant. We can count on some good southern cooking and Brooksyne enjoys walking through the gift shop and often manages to see something she likes. Two weeks ago we stopped near Hamburg PA on the way home from the Poconos. She managed to find the “FREE WEEDS” sign above in the discount section which is always a blessing.
Brooksyne is a diligent home gardener. Saturday she was out for many hours, planting and as needed weeding. For many years we have enjoyed sharing photos of her flowers on this site. She also has an herb and vegetable garden that is more practical, although not necessarily as beautiful.
There are a lot of steps to caring for her plants and one of them is weeding. I help her some but I must admit I find weeding very frustrating. After all they always come back anyway, so why bother!
But a reality in both crop farming and home gardening is the importance of weed control. This is a fundamental truth in Christian discipleship as well. The Bible uses weeds to illustrate hindrances to our growth as Christians. In the parable of the sower Jesus emphasized His plan that the seed of His word be fruitful in His followers. But some seed was sown among the thorns (analogous to weeds), which choked the Word just as it was developing.
Although the Parable of the Sower is the most familiar of the “Kingdom” parables in Matthew 13 there’s a second, less familiar parable called the parable of the weeds, which begins in verse 24. It speaks of a landowner who sowed good seed in his field, but while he slept his enemy came in and sowed weeds. Later when the weeds appeared beside the intended crop his servants asked two questions.
1) “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field?” Now I am pretty sure they knew the answer to this question was “yes”. They were just baffled by the problem. The deficiency was not in the quality of the seed, for in this parable the landowner represents God who always sows good seed.
2) “Where then did the weeds come from?” Isn’t that the very question we often raise in our own lives even in the midst of God’s working in our hearts? The answer in the parable as stated by the landowner expresses a vital truth.
The landowner answered the second question, “An enemy did this.” Later, in explaining the parable Christ plainly says, “The enemy that sowed them is the devil” (v. 39). Indeed, this enemy continues his dastardly work in individual hearts and his venomous forces are visible in family units and in the world overall. We must follow some good advice I recall as a child when we had a vegetable garden in our backyard. Mom would remind us “you’ve got to keep up with the weeds.”
Now I don’t attribute the weeds in our flower and vegetable gardens to a literal enemy, but they’re sure a reminder of the truth of this parable. Today, may God help each of us as we continue to overcome the work of our archenemy in keeping up with the “weeds.” In our Christian journey there is always going to be an ensuing battle with our enemy, but we can be encouraged as we contemplate the verse that reminds us that we are more than conquerors; “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Just like the persistent weeds, our enemy is ever on the attack trying to choke out the Word of God. Father, we thank You that we can go on the offensive recognizing that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Help us to be vigilant in sin’s fierce war remembering that the crown awaits the conquest as You lead us by Your glorious might. Help us to do our part in keeping up with the weeds. Amen.
Note from Brooksyne: A special note to those especially discouraged by the weeds. Don’t let your discouragement paralyze you. If some weeds have gotten out of hand call out to God for help, get some encouragement and support from other believers and begin to weed, one small weed at a time. Most all who garden know the most effective way to weed is not to just break off the weed at the ground level but dig beyond and pull out the root. Weeds simply broken off come back more quickly and are often stimulated to grow even more vigorously. So often we do the same thing in our spiritual lives – we lay aside a sin for a season, but don’t really allow God to pluck it from our hearts. It’s like keeping a destructive habit under control in our actions but not expunging it from our lives. Digging up the root of a weed takes more effort but the benefits far outweigh the temporary measure of just breaking it off. May we apply this spiritual truth to our lives as well!
“The Parable of the Weeds” Matthew 13:24-30
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