We humans are notorious for having bad judgment.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons Jesus told the parable of the weeds. In Matthew 13, Jesus tells the story:
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “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?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 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.’”
36 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.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.38 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, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 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.42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
We have an enemy (the devil) who is trying to destroy what God is doing. He is the one who sows the weeds in the owner’s field. The owner’s servants ask if they should pull up the weeds. What is interesting is the owner’s response:
Nope, he says. Don’t pull up the weeds, because you might pull up the good wheat along with the weeds.
Friends, we need to get off the throne of judgment, because we cannot judge intelligently. We cannot know a person’s heart. Think about Peter and the three times he denied knowing Jesus. Had God judged Peter for that one night, well, let’s just say the rest of the story would be drastically altered. Peter was definitely not a weed to be pulled and burned up in the fire.
Humans are notorious for their bad judgment. So often we elevate and celebrate a “devil”, believing they are good. And then we condemn and criticize a “good person”, believing they are a devil. In the past, the norm has been to protect our self and community from evil at all costs. But so often we have failed in our judgments, abusing those who are powerless. We judge those who are “less than” and give leniency to those in power.
Friends, we need humility in the face of our mixed-up churches, our mixed-up world.
We need to learn to live with the Spirit of God flowing through us, leading us to have compassion on those who need us to share His grace and mercy.
Let’s not judge. Leave it to God.
**This post is taken from the notes I took from John Ketchersid’s sermon 2/17/2019.