What does the Bible say about weeds

Events

The history

from the weeds under the wheat (Mt.13, V.24-30),

contains an extraordinary instruction not common in Jesus' time.

This parable tells of a landlord who sowed good seeds in his field. In the night an enemy comes and sows weeds between them. When the seeds come up and the servants discover the iniquity, they want to pull the weeds so that the wheat can flourish better. But the Lord disagrees; he fears that they would unintentionally pull up wheat along with the weeds. Therefore he gives the instruction to let both wheat and weeds grow together until the harvest. Only then should the reapers separate the weeds and let them dry in bundles so that they can serve as fuel. The wheat, on the other hand, should be brought into the barn.

Wheat was very important in Palestine and was grown almost everywhere. The extraordinary thing about the story lies in the demand of the Lord to let both wheat and weeds grow together until the harvest and only then to separate them. Concerned that the reapers could unintentionally pull out weakly developed wheat seedlings with the weeds - which are not always immediately recognizable as such - he does not let the weeds uproot at an early stage. He would like to wait, give him a chance, and not get rid of it until harvest time. The wheat should be preserved without loss, that is his goal. Only when both are ripe for the harvest is action taken.

Since the parables of Jesus are always to be understood as a comparison to the conditions in the kingdom of God, the conclusion and message of Jesus in this parable should be:

Just as the reapers at the behest of their master carefully separate the weeds from the wheat only at harvest, so that the wheat can be brought into the barn without loss, so also on the last day in the kingdom of God the mercy of God will ensure that no righteous person is found get lost.

With the separation at maturity, Jesus also gives the answer to the question that has been asked over and over again: "Why does God allow everything that happens in this world?" We discover so much hardship in the world. Often, however, the good can hardly be distinguished from the bad and it is difficult to distinguish between good and bad motives, between just and unjust. Therefore, we should not be hasty in our judgment.

It is part of our human dignity and freedom to be able to choose between good and bad. In this way it is possible for people to act best, but unfortunately also badly. In this parable, however, the power of hope is that the good seed, even if it doesn't initially look like it, will sprout and not choke. If God were ready to punish quickly, the apostle Paul, for example, would have remained an irreversible Saul. It is God's mercy that turned the persecutor into an apostle.

Let us leave it to God's righteousness and mercy as he will decide in the final judgment. He is not the punishing, but the forgiving, merciful God.

Inge Flock
for the Preaching of Faith Committee