In the end, truth wins. Matthew 13.24-30; 38-43
My mama, who was kinda' old when I was born1, used some antiquated words that found their way into my vocabulary. Like the word 'tarry'. She would say, 'Go ahead and go, but don't tarry!' In other words, 'get right back, don't delay, or I'll worry'. I also took a page out of her book with words she did not say that she believed a lady should not utter, certainly not a Christian lady. The words were not necessarily swear words, but crass or crude words. Though I lost her nine years ago, I endeavor to maintain her standard (not that I am above reproach). You know, sometimes Scripture uses words that are not common today and also need explanation and context. The next parable, "The Wheat and the Tares" is a prime example. Simply, tares are weeds, but we must look a little closer at first century Palestine context for Jesus' teaching. context |ˈkänˌtekst| the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed * the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning2 Therefore, we need context today for this parable-though his first-century listeners were quite familiar with the elements he described by Matthew. "Here is another story Jesus told: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. "The farmer's workers went to him and said, 'Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?' "'An enemy has done this!' the farmer exclaimed. "'Should we pull out the weeds?' they asked. "'No,' he replied, 'you'll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'"3 Huh? What in the world does that mean? Why not pull out the weeds? Wouldn't it make it much easier in the long run? Get 'em while their small! Because when the weeds or tares first started sprouting out, they looked very similar to the wheat; so it would be next to impossible to pull out weeds without pulling the good stuff. Further down in Matthew 13: "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." Jesus replied, "The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. 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. 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. "Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father's Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!"3 Jesus makes it quite clear that we have a detractor, an enemy, a distractor, a deceiver, who will regularly try to detract us from knowing God. Jesus' parable indicates the enemy will even camouflage himself as the real thing . . . when in fact, he is anything but! 'Problem is, the truth can't necessarily be known by what is seen from the outside-just as the difference between the young wheat and weeds in the Palestinian ground of which Jesus spoke was barely discernible. Truth will only be known in the end . . . people can look awfully good on the outside, but the intent of their hearts is only known by God. Besides Jesus' teaching that the 'dark' will be camouflaged as 'light', he also makes it clear that one day, there will be a judgment; Jesus does not mince words. There will not be any camouflaging then. So, how can you know the counterfeit from the real thing? How can you know the tare from the wheat? Take a look at what Luke says in the book of Acts: "The people of Berea were more open-minded than the people of Thessalonica. They were very willing to receive God's message, and every day they carefully examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true."5 The Bereans searched the Scriptures and compared what they heard-even from Paul--to what they knew that they knew that they knew was truth . . . the inspired Word of God. You and I must do the same! We must know what we believe about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and be able to back it up. Let's not get caught off guard by something that 'sounds good', but in reality, is not completely true. 'Cuz it either is or it ain't. Not to be crass.
1 - 45 years old when it wasn't cool to have babies at that age!
2 - Wikipedia dictionary
3 - Matthew 13.24-30
4 - Matthew 13. 36-43
5 - Acts 17.11
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