July 26, 2016
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.
One of the big consistent revelations conveyed by Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of Heaven is the “already-not yet” effect. Throughout the Gospel Jesus gives the clear message that the Kingdom is “at hand.” He says things like, “The time is fulfilled.” At the same time he also indicates that the Kingdom is yet to fully come.
Today’s parable gives a good example. As Jesus interprets the parable of the wheat and the tares he references three stages of the Kingdom, if you will. There is the sowing stage, the growing stage and the harvest stage. The “already” phase of the kingdom is the sowing and growing stages. The harvest is the “not yet” phase which will finally come at the end of the age.
There are two sowers at work: the Son of Man and the Devil. There are two kinds of seeds: the wheat and the weeds. During the growing season the wheat and the weeds grow up together in immediate proximity. At the time of the harvest, also known as the end of the age, also known as the judgment, also known as the final consummation of the Kingdom, the wheat and the weeds will finally be separated.
It is critical that we do the work of the season in which we actually live. At the same time it is imperative that we do the work of the present season while remaining mindful of the season to come. In other words, we must keep our hands to the plow with our eyes on the horizon. This is the mindset and mentality of the Kingdom of Heaven—already and not yet.
1.Do you find the “already-not yet” effect of the Kingdom of God helpful? How so?
2. What does “sowing” and “growing” look like in your present context?
3. How does the “not yet” harvesting season impact the way you go about the already season? Do you really believe the “not yet” is still coming?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.