I’ve reached a new milestone: I care about my lawn. I never thought I would be one of those people. But I want my lawn to look green, evenly cut, and trimmed properly. It looks good, at least for now. However, as you read this post, I know there are enemies lurking among the pure blades of grass. You can’t tell, but there are dandelions and other weeds blending in, waiting for the day when they will make their appearance.
That’s basically the story Jesus told in Matthew chapter 13. He said that a farmer sowed good seed in his field. Yet while he was sleeping, an enemy sowed weeds. The farmer’s servants were prepared to pull up the weeds, but he stopped them. He said, “While you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest” (Matthew 13:29,30).
So what do all these farming images represent?
The farmer is the Son of Man, Jesus.
The field is the world.
The good seeds are the people of the kingdom.
The enemy is the devil.
The weeds are the followers of the devil.
The harvest is the Last Day, judgment day.
What is the point of this story?
Before the Last Day, believers and unbelievers might look similar, just like weeds and wheat in their early stages. So instead of trying to do God’s job of making the final judgment, Jesus says, “Let both grow together until the harvest.” We are not called to go around uprooting those who are planted around us. We don’t know what’s going on in each person’s heart.
I remember a time in my life when I questioned Christianity to the point of considering walking away from it all. I wondered if I just believed in Jesus because of the family I was raised in. Thankfully, I had Christian mentors and friends who helped me through that season. From the outside, I looked like a strong Christian, but on the inside, I was straying.
That’s how it is for everyone. Some people who look like atheists are slowly becoming strong Christians. And some lifelong Christians are in the process of deconstructing. We just don’t know.
And that’s why we are to withhold judgment and let God decide each one’s eternal fate. Instead, we are to grow up together. That means we work together, do life together, and build communities together until the day of the harvest. This also means we are to be ready to show compassion to the struggling and goad those who think they are standing firm, lest they fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
There will be a final day when all things will be laid bare. On that day, there will be no question who are wheat and who are weeds. But until that day, let’s learn to give each other grace as we grow up together.