Concern FOR YOU His Wheat!
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost Trinity Lutheran Church
20 July 2014 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-42
Well, for a second week another “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” sermon from Jesus today.
Again you’re absolutely shocked and stunned! This can’t be happening! You can’t believe you’re eyes! You must be dreaming. Double and triple takes. You try to shake out the cobwebs.
After all Jesus, didn’t you plant an enormous kingdom of heaven on the earth? Didn’t you pot your victorious Good Friday reign of salvation for sinners smack dab on the earth? Sons of the kingdom good seed – believers — you planted, right? Didn’t you drench, irrigate and fertilize the field with your life-giving, holy, precious blood?
Of course He did. And the good seed sprouted and grew. Good seed. Sons of the kingdom. Believers. Those who are Jesus’ hangers on. Who hear the promise of divine forgiveness for Jesus’ Good Friday’s sake and mooch off of Jesus as if they’re eternal life depended on it. Who give their full throated “Amen” to Jesus’ promise: “I forgive you.” Wheat.
So why in heaven’s name are there now weeds among the wheat? Didn’t notice the weeds at first! After all, the “darnell” or “cheat wheat” looks exactly like wheat grass until the head of grain forms. We all thought the crop was all going so well until the plants began to bear fruit. Then the shocking truth was revealed. THERE ARE WEEDS AMONG THE WHEAT! WEEDS IN THE LORD”S WHEATFIELD!
Now you’re very worried. Incredibly nervous. Dreadfully concerned. You can’t sleep. You’re chewing off your fingernails. Wringing your hands. How did this happen? Where did all these nasty weeds come from?
Well, while everybody slept the devil, that malicious, malevolent Desolation of Smaug-like red dragon, poked his fire-breathing nose into the Lord’s business to ruin His wheat field. He surreptitiously planted sons-of-the-evil-one-weeds! Those who oppose Jesus. Who reject and make a mockery of His forgiveness for sinners. Who consider Jesus and His Good Friday death to be nothings. Some of them wreak a lot of havoc in the world. Perhaps downing planes. Taking young African Christian girls prisoner. Others parade around like angels of light (even wearing purple shirt clerical collars and pectoral crosses) but they spout all kinds of false teaching about God, Jesus and salvation.
Now you’re agitated to the max. You can’t bear to have poisonous, noxious weeds in the kingdom of heaven wheat field that Jesus has planted on the earth. Something has to be done! Weed-Free Field Activists and Organizers of the world unite! It’s solution time! Go time! Let’s take matters into our own hands! WTF! (Weed the Field!) Gas up, rev up and put all the weed whackers to work 24-7. Fill up the sprayers with all the Round Up you can muster. Let’s get rid of and eliminate once and for all every evil, unbelieving, rotten weed that has infiltrated the Lord’s field.
And that’s when you’re rocked to the core! Knocked off your rocker! Mind totally blown!
Jesus categorically declares: “Weed Whackers of the World — put down the weed whackers. Don’t you dare pour any Round Up. Put down your sprayers. We won’t be having any of that. You’re not going to do any weeding. Ever! After all, if I give you weed pulling permission, you’ll pull the wheat out by its roots too. You’d destroy my harvest of wheat! So none of that.”
“Both wheat and weeds will grow together until harvest, the Last Day. On Judgment Day, when I come to judge the living and dead, I WILL send my angels to pull out the weeds in order to throw them into the fires of hell where there’s eternal, never-ending weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the wheat, the righteous, will shine like the sun in the heavenly kingdom of God the Father.”
Don’t you get it now? Do you have ears to finally hear?
Jesus saturates you with His divine, sin cleansing Good Friday blood. With it He covers all your sin and guarantees your resurrection to eternal life. He did that FOR YOU. Believe it and it’s yours. You’re the wheat and on the Last Day and forever you will shine like the sun.
The weeds are those who blow off the kingdom of heaven planted right in their midst, who don’t believe they are sinners and stubbornly refuse to believe that Jesus died for them, who snub their nose at His promise of forgiveness in the Sunday preaching or in the Sacrament of the Altar, well, it will all end hellaciously for them. If they insist on it – going to hell — that is – they’ll get exactly what they wanted as their punishment. But they’ll have to do it over Jesus’ dead body! Once they’re there, there’s no getting out. Ever! The flood of their endless tears and the grinding of their teeth will never quench or stop the hellacious blistering anguish of an eternity spent outside of Jesus’ Good Friday saving wounds.
The devil sows his seeds densely. Profusely. Abundantly. Not just a weed here and there. The weeds are thick! Throughout the entire field!
So now you’re tempted to ask: Jesus, did you really plant any good seed? Maybe the seed dealer pulled a fast one. Sold you bags of weed seed. Can you trust such a Jesus? A Jesus who looks like He doesn’t know what He’s doing? After all, when you look at how the wheat field is infested and overrun with the weeds … you begin to have your reservations and misgivings.
Well, if you focus on the weeds you lose sight of what? You lose sight of the wheat and you begin to distrust Jesus who sowed the good seed. Better repent of that. And trust in Jesus despite the appearances.
It looks like He’s clueless. But He knows what He’s doing. And what He’s doing (not pulling you up with the weeds) is FOR YOU! FOR YOUR GOOD. YOUR ETERNAL SALVIFIC GOOD! His attention is on you, His wheat! The parable is not about weeds! It’s about wheat!
The devil’s work and the weeds are only a temporary nuisance, annoyance or distraction to what Farmer Savior Jesus is up to. Jesus’ attention is on you – His died-for and redeemed wheat. He doesn’t want to lose a single stalk of you to any over zealous weed whacking by weed whacking activists. So He patiently tolerates the presence of weeds in His field, even lots of them, rather than risking the uprooting one single wheat plant.
The zeal and care of Farmer Jesus is to make sure you’re saved. Cultivated to eternal life. Harvested for the resurrection of the body on the Last Day.
So, bottom line of the parable: there is to be no sorting out the weeds from the wheat before the Last Day. Otherwise you’ll do damage to the Lord’s harvest. Lord Jesus is content to wait. He allows no pulling of the weeds right now FOR YOUR BENEFIT!
He allows, you, the good seed to grow and flourish even among the weeds. So now is the time for proclaiming and hearing the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name. Now is the time for applying the death and resurrection of Jesus for you and others who are His sinners. After all, Jesus put all your sin to death in His death.
In the end, it is the Lord’s harvest. No matter what the devil sows, it all winds up supporting the Lord’s harvest in the resurrection.
On the Last Day the entire field will be uprooted – wheat and weeds, faith and unbelief, good and evil. You, the wheat will be gathered into the Father’s barns. The weeds, unbelievers, will be burned. The One who barks out the orders to His harvesting angels is the same One who died on the cross FOR YOU, who baptized you into His Good Friday death, and who tells you in the absolution and Lord’s Supper that you are forgiven and have all the benefits of His Good Friday “It Is Finished” salvation.
You are so precious – a precious wheat harvest to Jesus – that He willing and patiently puts up with the weeds – for your salvation’s sake.
That just completely blows away a weed pulling activist like me – in a joyful, edifying way. I sure hope it’s the same for you too.
It is? Wonderful!
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
In the Name of Jesus.