The thought of an enemy sowing weeds – typically, a particularly strain of weed whose early blossoms looked very much like wheat – into a farmer’s field was so real and so common that its punishment was codified into Roman law in Jesus’ day. This actually happened, an enemy sowing weeds among the wheat. There are three lessons we can draw from Jesus’ parable about the weeds and the wheat.
1. There’s the reality of an enemy, a kind of spiritual evil, the enemy of our soul, that is real in the world, and whose intent is to sow havoc and destruction into our lives. There’s a battle going on between good and evil in this world, and it is we – our own soul – that is being fought over. Claim Jesus’ protection and power. Claim it particularly in advance of going into a place which seems dangerous to your soul, for whatever reason. The threat of the enemy accosting our soul is real in this life; Jesus’ protection and power is greater, always greater, and Jesus’ protection and power is always assured. Claim Jesus’ protection and power. We need it; we have it.
2. Secondly, don’t judge. In the farmer’s field – in the field of life – what is wheat and what is weed in someone’s soul is impossible to distinguish, at least in this life. Don’t judge. Do not judge another person in a condemning way. I’m not talking about not judging someone’s actions. Some actions are clearly wrong. They may be illegal or immoral, and they are clearly judged to be wrong. We are accountable for our actions. But Jesus here isn’t talking about actions; he’s talking about essence, the essence of another person. It will take more than a lifetime, it will take an eternity to tell what proves good and what proves bad about another person. We will not have eyes to see it in this lifetime. Don’t judge. We hear Jesus say, multiple times in the Gospels, not to judge because we do not have enough evidence, and it is not our place to make a condemning judgment about another person. Whoever they are, they are loved by Jesus. Jesus is dying to love them.
3. And thirdly, judgment day will come. And we all will be judged… by love. Jesus’ judgment call is love. We affirm, in the Apostles’ Creed, that Jesus descended into hell, which is ultimately to rescue and save every last soul. In the last great battle, love wins. Jesus’ love is ultimately and eternally irresistible. Love wins.
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