Jesus really cracks me up in a creepy sort of way. In Matthew 13:24-33, He’s telling stories. He tells one about a farmer sowing seeds for a wheat crop, and then an enemy sowing weeds in to ruin the field. They wait until the harvest to pull the weeds and save the crop.
Now, reading it, I’m like “ok, the seeds are God’s truth, and I am the field, and I need to beware of the weeds Satan sows in my life to ruin me”. It sounds great, but it’s almost totally wrong.
Jesus explains in 37-43 that He is the farmer (check), Satan is the enemy (check), and the field is the kingdom of God. The good seed are followers of Jesus, the weeds are people who don’t follow Jesus. They are both sown, and both grow. The only way to tell them apart is at harvest time, when wheat will grow, well, uh… wheat, and the weeds won’t. Jesus even says if you try to pull them apart before then, you’ll confuse the two and pull good out with the bad.
So, what Jesus is saying is the only way to tell a follower from someone who doesn’t is what their life produces. It’s not about whether the plant claims to be wheat or not. It’s what shows up in their life. And at the end, we’ll be saved or not based on that.
That’s a bit rough in the face of a nice, solid five point Calvinism; or the idea that if we say a prayer, we’re in. Our faith will lead to a life that proves we love Jesus, or we’re toast. (wheat toast?)
Why is Jesus so much more deliberately obnoxious about the truth than I am? Why does He tell such sobering stories, and I don’t? Actually, those are dumb questions. The question is, why am I not telling this side of the truth to students all the time? What is wrong with me?
I’ll just have to change that.