Our scripture this week is Matthew 13:24-30.
Jesus told them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 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?” “An enemy did this”, he replied. The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?” “No,” he answered, “because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 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.”
Jesus tells us in verse 25 how evil comes in the world – “But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away”. He warns that while we are not paying attention, while we ignore the things for which God gave us responsibility, evil has its chance. We hear that once it has been sown, it cannot be torn out easily.
Jesus knows that we are susceptible to many earthly temptations and He teaches us to be aware of the danger. We are told plainly “if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell” (Matthew 5:30). This is hard to hear, but Jesus wants us to understand how profound the threat of sin is in our world and our lives.
We are all tempted, and Jesus knows our human weakness. We must admit when we have done wrong, ask forgiveness and earnestly work to do better every day. When we repent and turn from sin, Jesus is there to give us strength and put our feet back on the path.
Loving Lord, help us to give up the things of earth and accept the grace You offer. Make us the disciples You want us to be. Amen.