Meditation

Sermon 07-19-2020

Isaiah 44:6-8; Romans 18:12-25; Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. Then the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.” “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’” “’An enemy did this,‘ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “no,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters first collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; ten gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30)

“Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and he enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.”

“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:36-43)

In my time spent on my uncle’s farm, there was much preparation, at the end of the previous harvest, the fields had to be plowed up and fertilized, we would rotate use of the fields every two years. The fields we would be using, would also be plowed and fertilized, preparing them for the upcoming planting of seed. The farm was in southwest Texas and we had to irrigate, so when we moved to sections that had been left idle in the previous planting season, it meant moving the irrigation pipes and all the associated equipment to the current sections. One of the negatives to this is, rattlesnakes loved to beat the heat, by crawling into the pipe, so that when you moved it around, “they came out!” The pipes are made out of aluminum, so they are fairly east to move, but you always had to watch out for the “critters” that like to crawl into the pipes. Not one of my favorite memories. At age 10 and wearing a six shooter, it looked as awkward on me, and it was for me to pull it out and help the snakes to move into a different direction!

“Jesus spoke in parables to describe the nature of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not a man planting seed, but the parable may be compared to such ordinary human events. This parable emphasizes the present and future aspects of the kingdom. The seed now growing in preparation for the harvest illustrates the present aspect of the kingdom. The harvest pictures the future aspect of God’s kingdom. At that time the true character of all people will be revealed and judged. Meanwhile, God’s church represents God’s kingdom present on earth, not as a separate isolated group, but as God’s people living in the midst of evil people influenced by Satan.”

Beloved, God is aware that some reject and some accept His revelation. He wishes to give every opportunity for acceptance bu cannot ignore the difference between following Him (the useful wheat) and not following Him) (the weeds). Those who follow His revelation are productive and useful, while those who do not will eventually be set aside as wasted products.

In spite of small beginnings, the kingdom of God grows to enormous significance, must more than any human being could ever begin to comprehend. Worldly success standards do not apply to the kingdom, as it grows as God chooses.

Jesus’ practice of teaching in parables fulfilled prophecy. He quoted Psalm 78:2, the introduction to a wisdom psalm teaching lessons from God’s history with His people. Matthew saw the deeper prophetic meaning of Scripture in the light of Jesus, showing that Jesus gives new perspective for the interpretation of all revelation. The birth of God’s revelation to His people is often as a small beginning (Example – seed, yeast)and is often heard as a small truth (parable), but these facts are part of God’s design to reveal His purposes which have been hidden from the very beginning.

The kingdom of God may appear invisible. That does not mean God is not working. God works quietly and continuously to bring His kingdom on earth. Gradually the people of the kingdom influence every part of society. In the end God will establish his kingdom and eliminate all others.

The Son of man was the wandering Preacher sowing God’s seed, preparing for the final harvest, and thus fulfilling God’s mission. The Proclaimer also became the final divine Judge sending out heaven’s angels to weed His harvest and destroy those who do not accept the gospel.

Satan caused the “weeds” in God’s world. Weeds are “sons” or followers of Satan. At the end of this world, those who do evil will be punished. Satan has power to deceived and delay. He does not have power to win the final victory. Both God and Satan seek to win followers in this world. God allows Satan’s work to flourish for a while to prevent the destruction of His own followers.

Judgment for sin may be delayed, but it cannot be escaped. In the final analysis, sinners will be separated from God and experience His judgment. Sin will be weeded out of existence. Present circumstances may indicate righteousness is foolish and unrewarding, but ultimately, the righteous will receive their just rewards.

God’s revelation in Jesus brought God’s kingdom to earth forcing commitment for or against it. Commitment to the kingdom means willingness to sacrifice all possessions to be part of God’s controlling reign on earth. Nothing is as valuable as God’s kingdom. No greater joy can come to persons than to become citizens of God’s kingdom.

Beloved, the kingdom of God is the ultimate value in life. Nothing compares with the joy, fulfillment, and significance of serving Christ. We must be ready to surrender everything which has worth to us so we may be part of God’s kingdom. Are you so willing? He loves all of His children, and does not want to lose a single one, but some will be too stubborn, to selfish, to accept His free gift of salvation. Will you?

Rev. Jerry Lyle

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