But have you noticed weeds come up and flourish even when fought with all kinds of methods?
Good seed, however, has to be planted, then tended, watered, protected and cared for — even to being treated tenderly.
My mother loved to work in her flower beds and, when I was a little girl, there would be times I wanted to help. But after one time, I wasn’t allowed to pull weeds.
You see, I didn’t know the difference in a good plant and a weed. If a plant didn’t have a pretty bloom on it, I considered it a weed and would pull it up by the roots. So I got weeds and flowers, thinking I was helping.
That kind of help wasn’t too welcomed.
In God’s garden, identifying and pulling out the tares is not the kind of help Jesus needs, either. He doesn’t want us yanking up people by the hair of the head, vilifying and disposing of them in our self righteousness, not caring who is hurt in the process.
Jesus used the parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13:24.
The sower sowed good seed, but the enemy sneaked in and sowed tares. At first, the difference is hardly discernible.
The enemy had sown a counterfeit. That has always been one of his methods — counterfeit the good.
Can you imagine the consternation and surprise when it was discovered strange plants were leaping up in the fields.
The servants questioned the householder when the tares began to show among the wheat. “We sowed good seed, didn’t we? Where did this stuff come from? We need to get out there and get this junk out right now, shouldn’t we?’
“No,” was the answer. “Let both grow together until the harvest.”
Jesus said you can’t separate the wheat and tares. If you try to pull out the bad, you may uproot the good — then the whole crop could be lost.
But there’ll be a time, Jesus said, when the difference will be made. However, he said he could take care of that and for the gardeners to keep on doing their work.
He knows which is the true Christian and which is the counterfeit. He knows what is truth and what is false. And it’s only through the Spirit we can discern the difference. We cannot take it upon ourselves to purge the field.
Preaching the truth and planting good seed will expose the evil that would take up residence among God’s people. God has a way to do the separating.
There is a harvest ahead and a judgment is coming.
At harvest time, he said, the reapers will gather first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn; but the wheat will be gathered into “my barn.”
When evil makes its appearance, whether in the home, the church or the world, it’s the enemy which has invaded and sown a counterfeit. He intends to ruin and thwart the purpose of God. And uprooting the good with the bad fulfills his goal. We certainly don’t want to assist him.
The good seed comes from Christ. He is the Savior of the world and he plants true Christians to bring forth fruit.
Our job? To do the work we are called to do and, in all things, glorify Christ.