Journey Through Matthew: Weeding the Garden
Alright, good morning and welcome back!
This morning, I would like for you to start turning in your Bibles back to .
We are going to be covering quite a bit of ground this morning passage wise and we are going to be doing so in the way of Jesus’ parables.
This morning we are going to be covering verses 24-43 of chapter 13 and in it you will find two of Jesus’ parables.
First we have what is known as the Parable of the Weeds and then we have the Parable of the Mustard Seed and Yeast.
And what happens in this passage is that Jesus delivers these two parables and then explains the first one to the disciples.
And we are going to try our best to do the exact same thing this morning.
You may also notice that in this section of Scripture there are several different parables that Jesus begins to deliver to the people.
Which also helps last week’s message make more sense, since we covered the reason why Jesus was teaching in parables.
And this morning we are really just going to carry the conversation forward a bit and look at two of these.
And you may also be wondering what these two parables have to do with one another.
Because most of the time when we think of the parables we think of one teaching where Jesus is providing a lesson and the next parable as a completely different subject.
And on the surface you may even think that these two this morning are not related at all, but the reality is they are very related to one another.
And we also have to keep in mind what is going on in the background as well too.
Remember Jesus is now engaged in this ongoing confrontation with these Jews and it has reached its boiling point with their now active plots on how they were going to kill Jesus.
And instead of backing down and going away, Jesus continues to push forward.
But this morning’s passage isn’t directed so much at the Jews, but rather any of us who want to make heaven our eternal home.
Because in the passage, Jesus is going to actually be talking about heaven and some of the hang ups that we as humans have that hinder our ability to make it to heaven.
So, if you have found in your Bibles, I’d invite you to stand with me if you are able.
This is quite a long passage so I am not going to read it all.
But I will read the last few verses starting in verse 36, Matthew writes . . .
36 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.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 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. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where 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.
Parable of the Weeds (vs 24-30)
Parable of the Weeds (vs 24-30)
Now, what we read was actually the explanation of the first parable, so let’s back up and see exactly what Jesus is explaining here because it is very interesting.
First starting back in verse 24, Matthew writes . . .
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
So, here we are right back to where we were at yesterday with Jesus teaching the people on the backdrop of farming, of sowing seed if you will.
And if you remember Jesus is teaching this way because he is trying to use illustrations from everyday life that the people understood.
And for this illustration, Jesus is now going to compare the kingdom of heaven to a farmer sowing what Jesus calls good seed into his field.
And we will get to it a little bit later but one of the key aspects of this parable is this aspect of the man sowing good seed as opposed to bad seed.
So, Jesus is addressing these people and by now they can picture this man doing something that they do everyday.
They may even be imagining themselves in this man’s shoes actually doing this work.
But at any rate this man has been out in the field working all day long in the hot sun sowing this field, maybe even dreaming of the good crop to come.
And the end of the day comes . . .
25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
Now, the enemy must have really hated this guy if we was willing to come at night when everyone was sleeping and pretty much ruin his field.
Because think about it, how hard is it to grow a good crop when the field is full of weeds?
But he does this in secrecy, under the cover of darkness when no one is around.
When the field is all alone and unguarded.
When no one can see, hear, or resist what the enemy is doing.
This is when he sneaks in and does all of this.
The farmer has no idea what is going on during the night, so the next day and following days, he does like any farmer would do with a crop.
He fertilizes it, makes sure it has water and all the nutrients it needs to grow and be successful.
But unknown to him, he is also fertilizing and providing water and nutrients to the weeds as well.
And . . .
26 When the wheat sprouted and formed ears, then the weeds also appeared.
Well, of course they did, which created another problem.
And his servants are confused because they know they did their job preparing this field the right way.
27 “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?’
And the owner knows immediately what has happened . . .
28 “ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
Which is a valid question.
If you have weeds in your garden, typically you will go out there and pull the weeds so they do not choke out your tomatoes.
But this situation is different.
The way the enemy has sewn the weeds among the wheat when it was still seed created a big problem for the farmer and he explains to his servants . . .
29 “ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them.
The roots are all intertwined and crossing one another, if they pulled the weeds from the wheat right then while it was still growing and maturing they may inadvertently pull up the wheat as well.
So his plan . . .
30 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.’ ”
Parable of the Mustard Seed and Yeast (vs 31-35)
Parable of the Mustard Seed and Yeast (vs 31-35)
So, the plan was to wait till the time of the harvest when the wheat would be pulled anyway and while they are pulling to separate the wheat from the weeds.
Nice story about farming isn’t it?
But what does it all mean?
Well, Jesus doesn’t tell us right off.
Instead he starts another parable.
This one about mustard seed and yeast.
Jesus starts out . . .
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
So, it would appear that Jesus is changing gears completely.
He has went from talking about plating a field to now the kingdom of heaven.
And probably everyone he is talking to is a bit confused by it all, but lets look at what Jesus is saying here.
First he now compares the kingdom of heaven, the final destination that all of us want to get to one day.
And he says it is like a mustard seed, at first it is very small and seemingly insignificant but when it grows it is huge and even serves as a perch and safe haven for birds and animals.
And what he is getting at is this concept of heaven.
Think about it.
When we first start hearing about heaven and about God’s kingdom it is sort of this small idea that starts to get our imagination and curiosity going.
But as we begin to learn more about heaven and what heaven is all about it starts to grow and grow and grow.
And it becomes so much bigger to us than when it started.
It actually becomes bigger than we can even imagine.
The entire concept is just too big for all of us.
Which is exactly what Jesus is talking about in the next verse . . .
33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Heaven is like yeast that is poured into flour.
It starts as just a small cup of yeast in a whole pot of flour but sooner or later it grows and grows much bigger than it started.
Not only that but also think about how yeast works in and permeates every single fiber of that dough.
The yeast actually bonds with the flour and when the two are together they can’t be separated.
And once heaven becomes part of our lives and part of our reality it cannot be pulled from us.
But it all starts with this concept of heaven.
Parable of Weeds Explained (vs 36-43)
Parable of Weeds Explained (vs 36-43)
Again though, these are nice parables, but what do they have to do with one another and what do they have to do with us?
So confusing that Matthew even reiterates an earlier prophecy about Jesus . . .
34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
So hidden to the world that even the disciples have to ask about this one . . .
36 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.”
And here it is . . .
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Jesus = Farmer
World = Field
Good seeds = Christians
Weeds = Those who reject Christ, NOT DEMONS!
Enemy = Satan
Harvest = End of time as we know it
Harvesters = Angels
So, here are all our players.
And what Jesus is saying here is he as the farmer has sown the seed of salvation to the entire world.
Those who have accepted the gift of salvation and eternal life have grown into a fruitful crop.
However, those those have rejected Christ are now weeds that grow among the good crop.
And we ask many times, why doesn’t God just take them out?
Well there are many reasons but one of those reasons is that if God just takes them out it may actually cause damage to one of the good seeds.
But there will come a time of harvest when the angels will separate the good crop from the weeds.
And when that happens . . .
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.
And this is something we need to grasp and understand.
Jesus goes on to tell them . . .
41 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. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where 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.
And there is no flowery nice spin to put on it.
We are either in or out.
We are either wheat or weeds.
We are either righteous or unrighteous.
And the entire parable about the mustard seed and the yeast was simply to emphasize that heaven is real.
Even though it is bigger than any of us can imagine, it is real.
And if we want to make it our home we need to be wheat.
We need to hear the message.
And we need to accept Jesus Christ.
Otherwise we will be bundled together as weeds and cast into the fire.
And Jesus means business here. You can tell by how he ends the passage, he who has ears let him hear.
In other words, this is important stuff so listen up!
And it is no different for us than it was for these folks.
We need to listen up because this is important stuff.
But listening is only part of it.
We need to do something with what we have heard.
Which brings us to the end this morning.
You have heard, what will you now do with it?
Will you accept the message or reject the message?
The place is here and the time is now.