Our scripture this week is Matthew 13:31-43.
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 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.” 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.” He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 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. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
While Jesus is anxious to share the blessings of God’s kingdom and His love with us, He also lets us know there will be consequences for those who do not obey God’s law. In verses 41-42 He tells us “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. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus wants us to know that we have an obligation to God as our Creator.
During these troubled times we hear much about our rights, but along with rights go responsibilities. The Apostle Paul teaches “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others (1 Cor 10:23-24). He also cautions us “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God” (1 Cor 10:32). We are called to be an example for our brothers and sisters, showing God’s love through the way we treat each other.
Jesus wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves and to do that we must sometimes put their needs ahead of our own. We are responsible not only for our own actions but for the welfare of all God’s children, even when it is difficult. Jesus knows how hard this can be, but it doesn’t change the command to love one another.
Loving Lord, we are often so wrapped up in our own problems that we fail to see the issues around us, and realize that our concerns are part of them. Help us to be aware of those in need and how we can bring Your love into the situations we face. Amen.