The parable of the wheat and the tares or weeds is deceptively simple.
The word of God has been sown in the world – this tremendous energy has been released and Jesus apparently just says, stand back and watch the kingdom grow.
But the word has been sown into a sinful world and it is a fact of life that within as well as without the world, saints and sinners co-exist.
Bad, sinful and hypocritical people will stand alongside the faithful in any church assembly. Wheat and tares apparently look very similar, and this parable is a warning against too much weeding. Although this must be seen in the light of other parts of the New Testament where there are warnings against the influence of evil men and women and what to do about it when they try to malignly influence the assembly of the faithful. The difference appears to be that the people to be challenged and in the end judged and excommunicated are overtly sinful and most importantly obviously and blatantly unrepentant. So, seen in that light this parable would appear to be aimed against the not so obvious sinner, the secret sinner if you will.
The message of this parable is that God knows the secrets of our hearts and on the day of judgement we will have to give a full account of ourselves and everything will be brought into the light. So we interpret the parable in the light of the wonderful words of psalm 95 that sees God as creator and redeemer and judge of the whole world. We, however are not fine tuned enough to make such a perfect judgement in ambiguous cases. In these cases, Leave that to God, says this parable
And anyway, there is always the hope that any weed can also turn and be saved as well along the way for God’s arms are never too short to save.
So essentially, we can’t know the secrets of anyone’s heart (unless they directly start working against the interests of the body of Christ of course, which leaves us in no doubt) so, if in doubt, hold fire, for judgement belongs to God.
What we do instead is build people up and encourage people and exhort people to grow in faith and commitment without judgement and through our good works and good example encourage people to look deep within themselves to see their need of God and to turn to him in faith. That is our role as a Christian family – to love and serve people in the hope that through our faith and good works people will be moved to respond positively, after all there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than 99 people who don’t need to repent..
So I invite us to pray for the family of Holy Saviour church that we grow together, and support each other and nurture each other to repentence.