“Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me!”
“Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will rescue me….?”
Ever feel like something’s terribly wrong with you, with life, with this world? Ever wonder why God allows so much evil in us, in life, in this world? Well, Jesus has something to say about that, and He says it in a parable in Matthew 13:24-29.
Matthew 13:24 “…The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds…”
Matthew 13:27-28 “And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds (tares)? Do you want us to go and gather them?’”
We ask the same questions, don’t we? “God, if you’re good and you made the world, what’s with the evil? How did it get there? Should we fix it?”
Matthew 13:29-30a “But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds (tares) you root up the wheat along with them.”
So here’s Jesus’ strategy on the situation:
Matthew 13:30 “…LET both grow together until the harvest, and at the harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘gather the weeds (tares) first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ (The Greek word here can also be translated “suffer,” and even more often “forgive.” So, Do nothing but LET–SUFFER–FORGIVE).”
The disciples aren’t sure Jesus is getting this right so they ask Him to explain & He does:
Matthew 13:37 “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man (Jesus). The field is the world (us), and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom (Jesus in us). The tares are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil.
Remember what happened in the garden?
In the beginning God said, “Let us make man in our own image,” not “SOME men” in our image “and some an evil distortion of our image.” He said, “Let us make humanity in our own image…”
Yet, on the sixth day, while we are still being created, the serpent lies to Eve about the goodness of God and tempts all of us to take from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in order to make ourselves in the image of God and to judge the good and make ourselves good, but God alone is good. So, of course, we can’t make ourselves in God’s image. We can only make false selves (imitation selves).
One day, Jesus will look at those imitation selves and say, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7: 13). He doesn’t know a lie, for He is the Truth. Tares are those lies, they are the evil “us”-es. Sons of the Kingdom are the creation of God. Sons of the devil are the product of the accuser the devil. Jesus teaches that they are among us! And not just among us (in the world), but among us (in the wheat) the Church!
Well, in Matthew 13: 41a, Jesus says, “The reapers will gather out of the Master’s kingdom all causes of sin and all those doing lawlessness and throw them into the fiery furnace.”
So how do we recognize these tares and this wheat?
1 John 3: 10 “The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters.
Now, listen to this:
1 John 4: 7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
So, if you’ve ever loved . . . ever at all . . . You, my friend, are a child of God! And if you’ve ever NOT loved . . . well, look again at 1 John 3:10 Wow! How do you explain that?
How can we avoid the conclusion that each of us is like wheat and tare, or a field containing both wheat and tares?
Do you see? You are your own darkest fear!
Paul taught that we all have an old man condemned to death and we all have a new man – eternal and seated with Christ. There is a “me” that I create with pride, shame and fear and there is a me that God creates with Faith, Hope, and Love. There is a me that is false and there is a me that is true.
So, I see the monster that I have created and, like Paul, I say, “Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will rescue me….?” And Jesus says, “LET the weeds (tares)–SUFFER them, FORGIVE them.”
Now, that may bother you, but please remember that’s not me offending you. It’s Jesus: “You must LET…” Yet, when I see that I can do nothing, it does something in me.
You know, a farmer doesn’t torture weeds. He has no interest in pouring out eternal wrath on a pile of dead weeds. He simply destroys the weeds and enjoys the grain.
You know, God enjoys you, the real you! This may be the most wonderfully surprising thing about our Father. He will never ever enjoy your act as much as He enjoys you- the real you. He knows everything you try to hide, and He adores you as you are. He actually hates your act and adores the real you, the inadequate and naked you, for He makes you adequate and He clothes you with Himself!
So you can stop acting, and start living freely.
And don’t be afraid to agree with Paul today: “Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will rescue me….?” (Romans 7:24a)
But don’t miss the GREAT news:
Who will rescue us….? “Thanks be to God, who delivers me (us) through Jesus Christ our Lord . . .”(Romans 7:25a) “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1)
Celebrate His life in you and your life in Him TODAY!
This devotional was prepared by Peter’s assistant Kimberly Weynen.
To dig into these things further, click on the link to read the whole transcript and/or watch the sermon: What To Do About The Sons of The Devil