Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Sow Be It"

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Scriptures: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Jesus' parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat

• Kingdom living, what Jesus is talking about, is a funny line to walk, being in the world but not of it… Kingdom living requires humility, obedience, and discernment.

• The Parable of the Weeds Sown Among the Wheat. Jesus tells it, the disciples ask for an explanation. Last week we talked about our responsibility to sow seeds, invite people indiscriminately to experience the kingdom and about some ways to overcome some deterrents to the word. This week Jesus gets a little more specific about the different parts of the parable. Let’s take a look.

• In this telling, who’s responsible for sowing the seeds? (God. Specifically the Human One, the Son of Man, the Promised One, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.)

Anybody else? (The devil sows seeds too).

• Why does the Human One sow seeds? (for a harvest! For God’s own pleasure)

• What does the Human One sow? (good seeds, wheat, useful stuff. Followers of the kingdom)

• Then what? (weeds appear. We’re told they’re sown by the evil one, and they grow into followers of the evil one)

• Who notices? (the servants) What do they want to do? (get rid of the weeds). What do you think about that? (sounds reasonable) Why don’t they? (The sower, the Lord, says not to)

(by the way, has anyone ever grown wheat? The weed that Jesus mentions in this parable is called zizania in Greek, Lolium temulentum in Latin, and darnel or cockle or “false wheat” in English. It looks a lot like the real thing, until it matures, when it’s pretty easy to distinguish the weed from the wheat. And if the zizania is harvested and milled with the wheat it’ll ruin the flour.

So Jesus says Let the wheat and the weed grow together. He would rather the good seed grow with the weeds than the wheat be damaged by the removal of the weeds.

(by the way, that means that God chooses to allow good and evil to coexist in the world because the growth of the intended harvest is important)

Jesus says Let it grow, and other workers, reapers, angels will work the harvest and will separate the good from the bad.

• In the meanwhile, there’s a few things we can learn from the servants…

• Be eager to serve God.

• Be eager to learn. Understand that there are things beyond our knowledge, and that God appoints us tasks within our abilities…

• … therefore since our understanding is limited, while being eager to serve God and to learn, be slow to judge

• and be obedient to God.

• Jesus said in the sermon on the mount You shall know them by their fruits.

We cannot necessarily tell whether the “good Christian” is truly a good Christian or merely looks like one, but we trust God and we are obedient to God and we learn about the fruits of the Kingdom and look for those.

We can’t necessarily say that the one who does not come to church is “saved” or not, but we trust God and we are obedient to God and we look for the fruits of the kingdom.

• And you know what? Some things are best left to God, who is most capable…

And therefore I want to let God rule my life, let my decisions come from learning and obeying God’s will… Sow be it.

(pray for God’s spirit to reign in us so we’ll be found faithful disciples and bear kingdom fruit)

• Hymn 604 Savior Again to Thy Dear Love

Warm but comfortable.
Worship Attendance: 151

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