Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a farmer who planted seeds in a field but as he slept his enemy planted weeds among the wheat.
As the crop grew, so did the weeds and the farmer was faced with a dilemma. Should he rip out the weeds that were spoiling his good and perfect crop knowing that to remove the weeds would be to damage or to destroy his crop? (Matthew 13.24-30).
The farmer must have been so frustrated! He had done everything right, he had worked hard and planted good seeds carefully. He deserved a good and perfect crop and instead his work had been spoiled by the weeds which had now intertwined themselves with his wheat.
In the end the farmer decided to let everything grow together until it was time for the harvest and at that point the weeds could be destroyed.
These are the things that occurred to me about the parable:
The farmer loves his crop more than he hates the weeds
When you think about God (who the farmer represents) and how much he hates sin and evil (what the weeds represent) then it is amazing to be reminded just how much that God loves his people (what the crop represents) more.
Some people want to portray God as angry and vengeful but God is love!
God has the power to end evil today but he doesn’t because he loves you!
I’m not sure that we will really ever know how frustrating it must be to have the power to change everything but to have to stop yourself from using it because of your love for your people.
God loves his people more than he hates evil!
The crop is more important to the farmer than his desire for his work to appear perfect
Don’t you hate it when you have worked hard on something and it is really good and then somehow the presentation gets spoiled?
In the parable, the farmer could have ripped everything out of the field so it didn’t reflect badly on him (even though the weeds weren’t his fault). Instead, he is willing to be accused of being a poor farmer (even if this isn’t true) because of his love for his crop.
God believes that the wheat can grow even under difficult circumstances
God has confidence in his people. If we rely on him and draw on his strength, perseverance and power then we can grow despite the weeds that are trying to choke us
In the parable of the sower Jesus talked about the things that choke faith:
The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
Worry takes our attention away from God and in fact it is the opposite of trust in Him. When we find ourselves worrying we have the option of turning to God to receive his peace, presence and perspective. I’m not sure if we can ever be 100% worry free on this earth but if we can, it will be because we are so focused on trusting in God rather than because we tried really hard.
Wealth takes our focus away from God because we come to trust in it rather than in him. If wealth is our god then we will always feel like we want More for Me but if God is our God then we will become more like him with love at the heart of who we are.
It’s ironic that two of the things that are so dominant in church life are worry (what if it doesn’t work?) and money (worrying if we have enough). In some church meetings I have been in, it feels like people want to focus on these things more than on God!
Do you believe you can grow despite the pressures and challenges of life? God believes that you can!
As we grow amongst weeds, let’s Grow Towards the Light rather than focusing on the difficulties and the darkness.
God is interested in the long-term rather than quick fixes that won’t last
Over the years I have heard so many people ask: ‘If there is a God of love, why does he allow evil?’
The parable of the farmer growing crops reminds us that God allows evil because he loves us. As the influence of evil grows, so does his love which gives more opportunity for people to turn to him and to be saved.
One day there will be justice and God will destroy the powers of evil forever and I long for that day.
As preparation for a meeting next month, I have been given 19 readings that contain things that Jesus said about the Kingdom of God and I’m hoping to write something about each one as I read through them.
Next time I’ll be thinking about ‘The kingdom is like a mustard seed’ (Matthew 13.31-32)
Have you got any thoughts about the kingdom being like a farmer growing crops? If so I would love it if you could share them below in the comments section.