A couple of weeks ago we were filming Simple Truths (on the new set at Better Life Broadcasting) and Daryl, one of our participants, told a brief story of when he was just a young farm boy.
The family would plant oats and Daryl explained that during the process of the oats growing, there would be wild oats growing up along with the good oats.
It would not be until the harvest time, that you could not tell the difference between the real oats and the wild oats. At harvest time the real oats were white, and the wild oats were black.
Sean, another panel participant, pointed out that the farmers have a trained eye, and even with a trained eye they could not tell the difference until the harvest.
Jesus taught in parables. I love this about Him because that is how I learn best: Storytelling.
I love to be read to. I loved all the old Bible stories on record with all the wonderful sound effects and different character voices. I have fond memories of my school days and Mrs. Meehan reading to us after lunch. We were permitted to draw or color during that time. Those are really some of the best memories for me.
Well, Jesus was out doing what He did best: teaching. And on this particular day we can see Him sitting by the sea, large crowds have gathered on the shoreline, so much so that He got into a boat and sat down while the crowd stood on the beach. He began to speak.
“…The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds (or a weed resembling wheat) among the wheat, and left.
“And when the wheat sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also became evident. And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’
“The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No; while you are gathering up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and at the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30 NASB
What does this story mean? I believe it is pointing out that some people, some who claim to be Christians, are not true Christians. But we can’t tell the difference.
Let’s look at the parable again.
The good seed is the kingdom of heaven.
The landowner is Jesus.
The wheat represents people; good and bad; saved and unsaved.
The enemy is Satan.
The slaves/workers/servants represent us.
It could read like this:
“The church is filled with good people and bad people. People that have good intentions and people who have ulterior motives. People that love Jesus and people who only love themselves. People who outwardly are doing all the right things but inwardly are dark. People whose ear Satan has. And those who stand in the gap.
As time goes on, people’s motives become clearer. Gossip spreads and facts surface and the church members complain. But Jesus says “Hold on! I will take care of this. I will take care of all of this when I come again. Do nothing but grow and wait. Wait for the harvest”
The good wheat verses bad wheat is not just an inconvenience. The annual cost to the Australian wheat industry of wild oats during 1999 was estimated to be $80 million, with $60 million being spent on herbicides and their application and $20 million in lost yield. (Source: agric.wa.gov.au)
The article went on to say that wild oats are highly competitive and when left uncontrolled, can reduce wheat yields by up to 80%.
“Jesus tells us the parable of the wheat and the tares to help us understand the situation we are living in. We must accept the reality that evil is inseparably intertwined with the good. We might long to put a comfortable distance between good and bad, but this is not an option available to us. Instead, we are offered the assurance that God will sort it all out with perfect justice in the end.
…Jesus does not retreat from evil doers – neither the prostitutes and sinners we are familiar with him hanging out with, nor the “brood of vipers” of the suffocating religious establishment. He holds his ground and maintains his stance whoever he encounters. There’s no “doing away” with people. That will come later.
Now the slaves say to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and gather them up?’
But he says, ‘No, for while you are gathering up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.
Let both grow. For now.
Some focus only on the ripe fields while ignoring the devastation of the enemy on the rampage, while others become overwhelmed with evil and miss the extraordinary outpouring of revelation that is coming to so many at this time. But wisdom recognizes both simultaneously.
Also, remember that the parable of the wheat and the tares is not static – the picture is dynamic with the good and the evil growing together.
Both good and bad are increasing. We can expect as time goes on for evil to increase in seriousness and in volume. We can also expect, with the passing weeks, months, and years, for good to grow. We can expect to see more of God’s glory here on this earth, more people coming to faith, more demonstrations of God’s mighty power and salvation.
The question is, are we, God’s laborers, in position and ready for harvest time? (oneforisrael.org)
Remember the good wheat is white at harvest time. May we be counted amongst that group.
May our prayer be, Lord, “Purge me…and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7
by Jeanette Stark - Monday, September 12, 2022