Continuing my series on the secrets of the kingdom. The secrets of the kingdom of God have been given to us (Matthew 13:11). Jesus came to share this kingdom message (Luke 4:43). So I'm examining different passages related to this kingdom message.
The Parable of the Weeds (Matt 13:24 - 29 NIV)
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.The term for weeds here is thought to be a plant that looks very similar to wheat in its early stages. Roman Law prohibited sowing darnel among the wheat of an enemy. This is likely the imaginary Jesus was getting the crowd to visualize.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
The Parable of the Weeds Explained (Matt 13:36-43 NIV)
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
- This passage supports the idea that the kingdom of heaven is also a present reality. The good seed represents people in the kingdom of God, living side by side with people living in the kingdom of darkness.
- At the end of the age those who are under the reign of God will go on to live with their Father.
- At the end of the age those who are living under the reign of darkness will have an end similar to weeds burning in a furnace. Note this passage does not give support to an eternal conscious torment in Hell. Weeds burn in a fire and are destroyed forever, but they don`t burn forever. This passage sometimes gets used to support the traditional view of Hell, but it does not speak about the length of the torment. This passage on it`s own does not say how long the weeping and gnashing of teeth will last. It may be that the end result for these evil doers is death, perishing, or destruction. But yes, I am off topic. The weeds will get what they deserve... what that will exactly look like is a separate hot topic.
- The servants in this parable are not able to safely separate the weeds from the wheat. I think this means we are not capable of judging all who are children of God`s kingdom and those who are not. It`s likely not our task to determine who is in and who is out. If you come across Christians who try to make such conclusions beware of the danger that they will likely be wrong in many of their conclusions and much harm can be done to the kingdom.