The Parable of Weeds & Wheat as a Response to Prevailing Evil
Barcelona. Charlottesville. Chapel Hill. Boston.
Jack the Ripper. Jesse James. Judas.
Kim Jong-un. Genghis Khan.
September 11, 2001.
A savvy journalist says, "How can I spin this?"
An atheist says, “It’s religious faith that motivates people to do such terrible things.”[i]
A secular humanist says, “If there is to be justice, then it must be had here in this world and human beings must administer it.”[ii]
A narcissist says, “Wait, retake! I look fat in that.” #selfie-centered
A universalist says, “Who am I to judge? Didn’t Jesus say, ‘Judge not and ye shall not be judged’? Besides, everything works out in the end; everyone will be saved.”
A word-of-faith|prosperity-gospel-ist says, “Claim a better reality by naming what you want God to do. He must yield to your faith.”
A consumerist says, “I’ll have a grande half-caf, half-sweet, no-whip, coconut milk, cinnamon dolce latte with agave—no topping—thanks.”
A nationalist says, “We must reject, by force, if necessary, the influence of other cultures.” #self-determine
A deist says, “Sure, God made everything, but then he left us in this quag to figure things out ourselves.”
Jesus says, “Let me explain. ’The kingdom of heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. When the plants sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.’” (Mt 13.24-27, NET).
In his parable, Jesus reiterated God’s prophecy from Eden: the unrighteous “seed of the serpent” will antagonize the righteous “seed of the woman” (Gen 3.15). So, God knew I would get overwhelmed in this brought-to-you-by-Cialis society filled with hatred, cynicsm, apathy, ignorance, and sins. But, when I ask him if I can get out there with my Round-Up™, Jesus says,
“‘No…in gathering the weeds you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, but then gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Mt 13.29-30, NET).
Wheat like me often gets anxious and wants to remove the weeds—the people denying that God exists—is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good—and that evilexists. Wheat like me often gets frustrated and wants to fertilize all the slow-growing wheat. Wheat like me needs to rest in the fact that…
- Only God assesses “good” and “evil” with unbiased and unwavering standards (Mal 3.6; Heb 13.8; Jam 1.17).
- God has remarkable compassion for the unrighteous and capacity to redeem. He waits on weeding, knowing that some seeds are not yet sprouted and some wheat is not well-rooted. He waits, saying, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isa 55.8).
- Our “Redeemer lives and at the last he will stand upon the earth,” put “everything in subjection under his feet,” separate the wheat and the weeds, and gather believers into his eternal Kingdom where “nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or practices falsehood” (Job 19.25; 1 Cor 15.27; Rev 20.11-15; 21.27).
[i] “Richard Dawkins on Terrorism and Religion,” a radio interview on May 17, 2017. www.npr.org (August 30, 2017)
[ii] Norm R. Allen, Jr. A Humanist Response to Terrorism The Institute for Science and Human Values. www.theinstituteforscienceandhumanvalues.com May 9, 2012 (August 30, 2017)