The Gospel reading for today comes from the book of Mathew. Here we hear from Jesus on judging others goodness for the Kingdom of Heaven.
24He proposed another parable to them.* “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds* all through the wheat, and then went off. 26When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. 27The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let them grow together until harvest;* then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”g
Here we can see that wheat & tares are very similar in appearance.
The message in this story is simple. The land represents the world as a whole. The landowner in this story is Jesus. The enemy who slipped into the field in the dark of night represents Satan. The servants represent the 12 Apostles, The Wheat & Tares are the mortals that are both Disciples of Jesus (Clergy & Laity, though someone is bound to call me on that, I am holding my ground) and other people who are not true followers or disciples of Jesus.
The Apostles asked Jesus, Did you not choose who your Disciples are? How could there be non-believers mixed in? Shouldn’t we weed them out and have them move on? Jesus says “No, let them both grow together to harvest”. This in itself shows that Jesus a repetition in His belief that all do not grow at the same time (seeds), some will take root, some will transplant, not all will flourish and grow – but – we still have my proverbial bird who flew off with good seed and dropped it in fertile ground that took root and flourished at another time.
Some folks will explain that the field is the physical church. I disagree. Disciples are to go out into the world to spread the good news (that includes each and every one of us). The Church is not a building, it is a state of being in Him. Jesus taught us this.
“No, let them both grow together to harvest” is also one more reminder that God views each and every one of us in the same way. He has no favorites. We do not earn Grace by deeds, He gifts us with His Grace. He encourages us to work together, in His name. To learn from each other and grow with each other. It is healthy to read scripture and question what religions are teaching and why. Humans err and when we see an institution doing this it is our responsibility to stand up and say “Why? (or) this should not be, it is not Biblical, it is not what Jesus taught”, because we are to be following the teachings of God – as taught right here in this parable. Yesterdays reading and post Ancient teachings are relative today weigh heavily upon my mind today.