Posted by: Rex Boyles | June 4, 2008

Are we listening?

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

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?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 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.'” 
(Matthew 13:24-30, 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.”

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.
(Matthew 13:36-43, NIV.)

Please read again the last words of the Lord’s teaching, “He who has ears, let him hear.”

At the end of this parable – this earthly story with a heavenly meaning – Jesus urges us to hear … to listen. There is something in His words – in this lesson – that we need to accept and apply to our thinking … our serving … our living.

Here are the truths:

The sower is the Son of Man … He sows the good seed … the field is the world … the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom … the weeds are the sons of the evil one … the enemy is the devil … he sows the weeds … the harvest is the end of the world … the harvesters are the angels.

Those statements are the facts, but what is the lesson we are to”hear”.

I will not presume to identify – much less understand all that Jesus intended to teach His disciples, including all of us who follow Him – even now. But there seem to be some obvious lessons that reveal God’s will, regarding the kingdom of heaven.

As surely as the Son of Man sows the good seed … Jesus planted me where I am. I regret my failure to live righteously at another place and time … but is it not true – reasonable to conclude – that Jesus has planted me here? If I accept and apply such a possibility, I will not look wistfully at lost privilege or future opportunity. I will accept the here – the now – as my place and time; and I will apply myself to “bloom where I am planted” – to shine like the sun in the kingdom of my Father. 

Are we listening? Am I listening?

ON SECOND THOUGHT: In my 30+ years of preaching and teaching, I have seen people devote their time and energy in specialized ministries … to feed the hungry … to train preachers … to care for orphans … to publish Christian literature … to print Bibles … to provide relief, during natural disasters … all noble and Christian efforts. But I have also seen others that seemed intent on preventing sin (in or out of the church) rather than on rescuing sinners. I believe that all who serve the Lord should speak out against evil – wherever or however it takes place … but the adage is true: “It is better to light a lamp than to curse the darkness.” Seems to me … that Jesus wants me saving the lost rather than separating the lost from the saved.

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