JESUS IS SPEAKING OUR LANGUAGE HERE: Chapter 13 is all parables, and as farmers we can certainly resonate with the illustrations Jesus uses. Interestingly, Jesus arranges these parables to fit the cycle of a growing season:
PLANTING: Jesus begins with sowing the seed, helping us to gain insight as to why sometimes the gospel message flourishes in people, while other times that same good seed fails to thrive.
CULTIVATION: The seed Jesus plants is not Roundup ready. We don't have much patience for weeds. First of all, they are one of the primary reminders that we live in a fallen, sinful world. Secondly, they steal resources from the intended crop. So we go to great lengths to fight back against them in our fields and gardens. But in this parable, Jesus explains that eradicating the weeds would do too much harm to the wheat, so he waits till the harvest to sort it all out.
HARVEST: There are two pictures of the harvest in these parables: the wheat harvest just mentioned, and the harvest of fish in v47-50, but both follow the same pattern. Both the crop and the imposers are harvested, but that which does not measure up is thrown into the fire - and not just any fire!
PRECISION AGRICULTURE: We often will say that Jesus spoke in these parables to make it easier for people to understand by using common illustrations, but the one thing that Jesus makes crystal clear here is that He uses parables for just the opposite reason: to obfuscate the truth so that only His people can understand what He's saying (v13-17, v34-35). When you dig deeper into each of these parables by interpreting them in the light of the rest of scripture, and apply those lessons to your life in a way that grows and expands your faith, it's like Jesus injects fertilizer directly into your life without wasting it on the weeds growing up around you! Thank God for opening ears to His Word (v9, 43). KINGDOM WATCH: Look at how all of these parables are introduced: 'the kingdom of heaven is like...' Jesus gives us, His people, a clear picture of His kingdom. We need to recognize it, as well as the weeds we let grow up in our lives that keep us from it.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of the Harvest remains in control, even though His fields seem full of weeds.
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: He who has ears, let them hear & apply God's Word.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: