But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. (Matthew 13:29-30 KJV)
Growth, Your Most Effective Service
I think one of the reasons why the depths of some of Jesus’ parables are often missed is because we follow so much the thread of the point of the story, that we miss the other wonderful ones in the skein.
On this note, and moving in the same line of thought as the devotional before this, I wish to point that He, in this parable, was noting how growth will forever be your most effective service. Notice, the farmer and his servants in this parable immediately saw something was amiss. They were observant. Reader, are you observant about yourself? The words you speak, the thoughts you think, your actions, do any escape your gaze? Can you, like the men in this parable, look at any point in your life, and instantly determine its origin or fruit, even before anything manifests on the outside? No one ever became great with an unobservant inner life.
Up to this point, the servants excelled. However, we find they were all for uprooting, what they thought was the best method. If the farmer hadn’t been knowledgeable about his work and stopped them, what disaster would have been wrought! Not only might a mistake have been made, but the process of uprooting and such would disturb the peaceful growth of the true wheat. Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child! I imagine the farmer as a young boy under his father’s tutelage, and how his father must have been explaining all about wheat and tare. Leave me this burdensome learning, and give me work, that I might be useful, might have been his youthful cry. And his father, smiling to himself, would have explained, Son, yet a little while, and this shall make thee more useful. He may have wondered the meaning behind his father’s smile; now he wondered no more, for he also had it.
So many of us are apt and willing to serve, and this is good. But the trouble with many, youth mostly, is the unwillingness to accept that the best and primary service you can do for mankind is and will always be to grow. Many opportunities to do spectacular things may not be presented to our doorstep; but God, in His Fatherly way, will always present us many opportunities for growth. Please, dear reader, take the ones presented to you today. Become the best you can be, everywhere you can: in love, in joy, in faith, in self control, in self knowledge…everywhere possible, and you will undoubtedly find, like this youth become farmer, that you will, not might, one day be the sole reason some great disaster was avoided.
Some Tares Resemble Wheat
Oh, the untold damage that has been done due to some thoughts that seemed good but were actually destruction! As an example, imagine with me the case of a young man who got robbed. Upon hearing this, imagine that in this case, his friends and relatives rush to his aid, helping to pay most of his bills, and showering him with foodstuff and gifts in this his time of need. Seeing all this, the thought gets planted, “I have people I can lean on in time of need”. If that thought were presented to you, would you not call it true? Laudable? Wheat? You may be right in doing so, but fast forward some time, and we discover this young man has grown into a rather irresponsible fellow, refusing to get a job, instead begging and relying on his friends and relatives in times of need. That very thought is still at play in him: his version looked like wheat, but it was tare all along.
As a twist, say he doesn’t receive any help, but through hard work and perseverance, he recovers all on his own, and more, and he thinks, “So long as I have life, I am sufficient to overcome difficulties by myself.” Before you hasten to call this wheat, look and see that he has morphed into someone who is incapable of receiving love from his close ones, disallowing them feel the joy of giving and being a blessing to him, for he sees such actions as a mockery of his grandeur, or that his receiving would be an indication of his inability to personally triumph. We might all know one or two persons like this…would you still regard how he interpreted this thought as wheat? I hope I have been able to prove that sometimes, like the observant farmer noted, some tares may resemble wheat in the beginning.
Some Wheat Resemble Tares
The reverse also holds true, making this world of ours quite intriguing and colourful.
To again prove, permit me to use the example of a young lady in love: happy she is, the clouds know her name, and the flowers whisper her song. Sadly, in this example, something happens, and the relationship ends bitterly, with both parties taking home holes in their hearts. The enemy came at a point she knew not. She cries and mourns, and eventually the thought gets planted in her: no man is to be trusted. “Perish the thought!” you may chide her, for it resembles tare. But imagine she becomes a wonderful shining example of a child of God, with so much faith as is worthy of one of the apostles. Also, because she has now found a love and trust like no other in God, she is now able to open her heart to trust man again. What was the origin? She, to your surprise, points to that very thought you labeled tare, for it was wheat all along!
Remember the ‘sinner’ that anointed Jesus? This is tare!, was the thought that permeated the room. But Jesus, with His eternally perfect vision, saw the wheat, and declared it would be a memorial for all times. It still is, isn’t it?
I think also of the trials brother Kirk Franklin faced when he brought in his own brand of music. By many different names, gospel rap was branded tare. How wrong so many were! Slowly, but surely, the harvest of this wheat is blessing lives today. It just goes to show that sometimes the good wheat may resemble a tare in the beginning.
Wait Till The Harvest
There may be some reading this that have loved ones you are responsible for, and you may be thinking of barring yourself or them, or both, in some cage so as to avoid a sudden attack of the enemy. Jesus’ advice: Be sober and diligent, not Be paranoid and controlling. Protect to the best of your ability, but each must bear his burden.
Then, it sometimes happens that there may be some thoughts, events or even people, whether in our lives or in those we love, of which we may not be absolutely certain whether they be good or bad. Take the farmer’s advice, and wait till the harvest. Let both stay awhile, growing together. Then look again after a while, and time, that great revealer, in its own way will have made it clearer by then which to remove, and which to leave. Again, the value of an observant life and discernment is brought forward, as you have to do all this before it’s too late, or before you manifest your harvest to the outside world.
That being said, I believe another in the skein is that we determine the outcome of whatever happens to us. The enemy had attacked, that they couldn’t change. But what they could do, they did superbly: they garnered all the wheat they could, and threw away the tares. They dwelt on the positive, and learnt, rather than dwelling in sorrow, letting the negative stay. Notice they had to act swiftly too, lest the tares spring up and be plucked, and it be too late to stop the shearers from mixing them with the harvest. So long as you are in this world, O Christian, you shall have trouble, but yours is different: whereas the trouble of those in the world usually ends in disaster, yours, no matter the attack, will culminate in victory, if only you will, with the help of the Father Who is the Perfect Husbandman, quickly separate the tares from the wheat, for time is not on your side this side of eternity. Once more, guard your heart diligently. Act wisely!