Lessons on Zealous Living Learned in the Garden! Part Three
Part Three: Lessons Learned In the Garden from Weeds
Wow! Great job! Your garden is all ready to go. You’ve been learning many lessons as you cultivated the soil and sowed your seeds. Now you and your family can rest peacefully as you trust God to help them germinate and sprout through the soil.
What would you think and do if your jealous neighbor came in the middle of the night while you were sleeping and sowed a bunch of weed seeds all over your garden? What’s worse is you probably couldn’t notice them until your plants were a good bit grown.
What would you do? What lessons can you learn and teach from the Parable of the Weeds? the sowing of the seeds? In case you missed it, in our last article we discussed Lessons from sowing seeds. The first article in this series dealt with lessons learned from cultivating our soil. Are you ready? Let’s get our ZEALOUS on!
Lessons from Weeds | Weeds Happen!
Now, if you have done much gardening, you know that weeds normally come with the territory. If you plant a garden, weeds will develop and grow. It is a given. It takes a lot of work, but you can normally pull the weeds and clean them away from your garden plants. Certainly, sweat, blood, and tears, along with a good deal of elbow grease, will rid your garden of those pesky weeds for a while. Remember, part of the curse God placed upon humanity for our sinful rebellion is thorns and thistles, also known as weeds.
17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Genesis 3:17–19 (ESV)
Lessons from Weeds | A Complex Entanglement!
So in your garden, you cultivate it enough to eat from it, but it requires a lot of work. But what if you were raising wheat instead of beans, corn, collards, and tomatoes? If so, you would need to spread wheat much closer together and broadly about. Now, we can tolerate some weeds that slip in, but not an abundance covering the entire field.
However, what would you do if your jealous neighbor filled the entire field with weeds? Can you simply pull them out by hand and care for your crop? Of course not! The roots of the wheat would become entangled with the weed’s roots. To remove them would be to uproot the good along with the bad. You’d be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. So what do you do?
Jesus’ Lessons on Weeds
Jesus told a parable that uses weeds among the wheat to teach us a few great lessons about life in His Kingdom plan lived according to His sovereign will. In Matthew 13, shortly after the Parable of the Sower, Jesus gives us the Parable of the Weeds.
The Parable of the Weeds Matthew 13:24–30 24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ” The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.
Lessons from Weeds | A Simple, Yet Weighty Solution!
The scenario presented above is the same scenario found in this parable. However, this parable is comparing that scenario in our garden to the Kingdom of Heaven. The agricultural lesson that Jesus gives us to solve the problem is the same solution we need in our world today as we live in a culture that is full of darkness and sin.
When the servants came to the Master and reported that the field was full of weeds, they asked Him if He was sure that the seed He used was a good quality seed. Immediately, the Master knew the cause of the problem. His enemy had come and sowed the weeds in the darkness of night while they were resting.
Next, the servants asked their Master if they should go out and gather the weeds and clean up the field. The Master’s response was to leave them be and let them grow together until harvest. Removing the weeds now would destroy the wheat along with the weeds. At harvest, the Master’s reapers would gather the weeds and bind them into bundles to be burned, then they could gather the wheat safely into the barn. It would take more work, but it would save the wheat.
Perhaps you are wondering what this has to do with the Kingdom of heaven. If so, then you are in good company. The disciples didn’t understand it when they heard it, either. After Jesus finished teaching, they left the crowds and returned to the house where they were staying. The bewildered disciples came to Jesus in private and asked Him to help them understand the parable. The disciples give us an excellent lesson here. When we don’t understand something, we should find someone who can help us understand. So Jesus explained to them the parable in Matthew 13:36-43.
The Parable of the Weeds Explained Matthew 13:36–43 36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016.
Lessons from Weeds | Understanding the Parable of the Weeds!
In relation to the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus used various allegories to compare things of our world with the realities of the Kingdom of God.
- The Master Farmer, who sowed good seed, was Jesus.
- The field represents the world. (Many often present it as the church, but that is not correct)
- The good seed is those who will trust in Christ and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. By extension, as seed produces more seed, those who are in Christ will reproduce others who will trust in Christ through discipleship.
- The weeds are those who remain in sin and continue to walk in darkness, ignorance, and evil. They are children of the evil one.
- The enemy who sowed the weeds is the evil one, who we call the Devil or Satan.
- The harvest represents the end of the age and the final judgment.
- The reapers are the army of angels who gather up and bundle the evil ones to be burned in God’s fiery furnace of Hell. Then they will gather the children of God, those whose righteousness we find in Christ, and they will shine like the sun for eternity in the Kingdom of God.
What can we learn from the lessons on weeds?
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- Lessons on Zealous Living Learned in the Garden! Part Four - May 20, 2023
- Lessons on Zealous Living Learned in the Garden! Part Three - May 12, 2023
- Raising Children Who Can Navigate Modern Culture - May 8, 2023