October 25, 2016

Crops and Weeds

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

—  Matthew 13:26

In farming, weed control is a common process, and it takes a lot of work. Today herbicides and other products are often used to control the growth of destructive, unwanted plants.

In Jesus’ day, however, no such products were available. Undetected weeds would grow along with a crop, crowding out growing plants and competing for valuable sunlight and for nutrients in the soil.

In our growth and development as followers of Christ, we learn that the devil works to choke out a possible harvest. He can’t uproot the good seed sown by God’s Word, but he can try to crowd out its growth. Perhaps you’ve seen this in your own life. Broken family relationships and friendships, selfishness, greed, immorality, and turning back to old habits seem to overtake the growth of God’s good seed, and we wonder if there will be a harvest.

Jesus’ story makes clear that God is not the author of evil: “An enemy did this.” And yet the story also shows God’s ability to produce a harvest despite the presence of evil. While we should not embrace anything that works against God’s will, we need not worry that evil can choke out the growth of the good seed God sows.

This is good news! Though we can’t protect ourselves from every evil influence, we can be sure that God will protect his harvest in us.

So many weeds grow among the good seed of our lives, Lord. By your Spirit, work within us, guard our hearts, and keep our hope of the harvest alive. Amen.v

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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