Jesus Feeding the 5,000

Devotion for Today — May 17th

The Mysterious Harvest

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. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

Matthew 13:24-26

This too is a parable of sowing. But the sowing is different from that in the parable of the sower. There, the seed was the Word of God. But in this parable the seed is not the Word of God; it is what Jesus calls down in verse 37, people of the kingdom. These folks are put where God wants them — in the world. Wherever you are, as a child of God, you have been put there by the Lord Jesus. It is so important to understand that he has sown you and put you where you are. The field is the world. In that world of humanity the Lord Jesus has scattered his own.

Now into that same field there came an enemy. He came while men were sleeping, while unaware of what was happening. Out of sheer malice and hatred he sowed a crop of his own which some translations call weeds. Literally it is the plant which today is called darnel, a poisonous weed which looks very much like wheat. In fact, when it first begins to grow even an expert cannot distinguish it from wheat. But as it grows it begins to change, and by the harvest, even a child can tell it is not wheat. This is the figure that our Lord employs. These weeds too are persons that are sown. Jesus calls them people of the evil one

(verse 38).

Jesus implies that his servants will become troubled by the sight of these weeds in the field, because they will be growing among the wheat. The servants asked him, Do you want us to go and pull them up? (verse 28) Our Lord said that these weeds would be sown not just in the world in general, but among the wheat, in the church. So the wheat are true believers, and the tares are those who appear to be true believers but are false, who grow up right within the church.

Let both grow together until the harvest (verse 29). That is our Lord's word. It is amazing how many Christians ignore those words of Jesus and are constantly trying to purify the church. We see people go off and start their own church, and it is going to be a pure church. There will be no heresy in it. Groups splinter off and call themselves the True Church, the One Way. They say they have the truth and no one else does. But you cannot separate evil from the church. It is going to be there in some form. This does not mean that we are not to expose it and meet it positively with the teaching of the truth. We are. Nor do we allow those who exhibit clear forms of error to take leadership within the church. But what our Lord wants us to understand is that no human effort is going to eliminate error from the church. Let them both grow together until the harvest. That is, I've got my own plan for handling this and nothing you can do is going to eliminate the problem. Keep your message positive, preach the word, teach the truth, deal with it in your own hearts, exclude it from leadership, yes, but don't try to eliminate them. Don't launch a crusade only for the purpose of wiping out evil or error, particularly religious error, because you won't succeed.

Lord, I pray that I may be person of the kingdom today, a teacher of truth, helping people out of darkness. For the glory of the gospel is that even those who are people of the evil one can be changed into people of the kingdom.

Life Application

Am I too eager to weed out the tares sown among the wheat?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Case of the Mysterious Harvest

Listen to Ray