Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Weeds to the Furnace and Fruit to the Kingdom

Matt. 13:36-43 excerpted (NLT)  
   36  Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.” 
   37 Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. 39 The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels.
   40 “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world.  41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

Most often the Bible-- the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God-- is its own best commentary. Jesus intended for his message to be understood by everyone, not only just by the most educated and literate. In fact, sometimes education gets in the way of simple faith, unfortunately because we over think things. Jesus had delivered the parable, and even explained it to the crowds, but even his disciples failed to grasp the beautiful point of it. So they asked him later and he gladly explained it more patiently to them. That's what great teachers do. They take the time to make sure learners have gleaned the desired learning from their lessons.

How many of us can identify the problems caused by weeds growing up in our gardens? Not only our gardens, but there are weeds growing up around us in our daily lives. When we permit Jesus Christ to plant 'good seed" (v 37) it is able to take root in our difficult and poor soil because it has its own source of nourishment. There are weeds that try to crowd out the good growth in our Christian lives, and that will always be so. The enemy of our Lord makes sure of this. But God will grow within us our crop of unconditional love, faithful obedience to God's standards, and persistence in seeking the Lord's will among our daily decisions. The 'angels of God' (v 39-40) will sort out the unfruitful weeds from our lives when we are taken up to be with the Lord. If we have sought to nurture the good fruit of God within ourselves, we can trust in God's grace to take care of the weeds that have remained as well and those will be removed in God's time.

You can trust the Lord today to promote His good growth within you and separate you from the weeds of the evil world that are all around you.
Your servant in His love

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