“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off…. (Matthew 13:24-30)
Most gardeners weed weekly. They pinch the weed at its base and then pull. If a gardener pulls weeds when its young, so much the better. Do you know any gardeners who don’t worry about how their field looks? We hate weeds and it makes us embarrassed. As Job 31:40 says, weeds are “noisome and foul.” And yet, God chooses to wait until harvest to do any weeding.
In today’s Gospel (cf. Matthew 13:24-30), Jesus is talking about darnel which looks, feels and smells just like the real thing, wheat. However, darnel is dangerous. This is what one expert writes: “If it gets ground up with wheat it contaminates the flour and any bread made from that flour causes severe nausea when eaten. In the East personal vengeance sometimes took the form of sowing cockle among an enemy’s wheat. Roman law prescribed penalties for this crime.” (Saint Matthew’s Gospel. (2005). (p. 106). Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers.
Every heart is a combination of wheat and tares.
Throughout the pages of Scripture, there is a wide gulf between our “yes” and what we do. After Moses spells out the laws and ordinances of God, the people answer in one voice, “We will do everything that the Lord has told us(cf. Exodus 24).” Sounds like the AMEN after most of our prayers and weekly services. We say, “Great sermon, pastor” and continue living like weeds.
What should you do if the Holy Spirit is reminding us of our weeds? In the Old Covenant, the solution was blood. We remember the expression, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” However, as Hebrews clearly states, the remission was temporary and pointed to the final sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
Do you have a theology of blood?
Should we offer a sacrifice of praise, read Scripture or offer a cup of cold water to the stranger? Yes but not yet. Did you notice before any time passes, Moses builds an altar and splashes blood on the people? ‘(cf. Exodus 24:3-8). The new Moses, Jesus solemnly states: “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” The saying, “There is life in the blood” (cf. Leviticus 17) points to the eternal life found in the blood of Christ.” (cf. John 6:53)
The early Christian were accused of being cannibals not because they “remembered” the body and blood of Christ but because they took Jesus’ words literally. They believed the deep chasm between our “I do’s” and “our will” could only be healed by the living blood of Christ.
Are you wheat or a darnel? So many of us pray prayers, sing songs and read Scripture with good intentions. However, instead of becoming little Christs we know in our heart of hearts we are pretenders. What is the solution?
- Confess your sins
- Drink some blood
- Enter the Kingdom of God.