Jason Helopoulos / Dec 8, 2019 / Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
DownloadMP3 Audio File
Sermon Summary / Transcript
In both the Parable of the Sower (v1-9) and the Parable of the Weeds (v.24-30) seed is being sewn. But unlike the seed in the Parable of the Sower, which represents the Word, the seed in the Parable of the Weeds are those who receive the Word.
In both parables, Jesus gives us an explanation. So do we even need a preacher? Yes, because the message of the parable is often lost. This passage gets to such questions as Why is there evil? Why does evil continue? And Is the Kingdom really here?
1 Christ’s Kingdom is not absent but present, and Christ is not feeble but patient. The Jews believed that God’s kingdom would push out all suffering and tribulation. They thought that the wicked and the good would be separated. But the key to the passage is not in looking at the who, what, or how, but at the when. When does the separation happen? The master in the parable says, “later.”
Augustine held that the field represented the church, that the wheat were the true believers and the tares were unbelievers sewn in among them. Calvin also held this view, but Jesus himself interprets the parable for us and says that the field is the world, not the church.
The present Kingdom is the Kingdom fulfilled, but not yet consummated. It is already but not yet. Jesus has bound the strong man (Satan), but he is still active. Satan and Jesus are both active in this world. As Jesus sows, so does Satan. In fact, Satan only ever follows Jesus and imitates him, but he does so as an anti-Christ, making good seem bad and bad seem good.
And yet Satan’s doom is sure. His hatred for God is clear in that he knows his end and yet he continues in his rebellion. But Jesus does not destroy him yet. Nowhere in the Gospels does he destroy a demon. But why? In this passage we can see that God allows evil to exist because he does care. He is patient for the sake of the wheat.
2 The Kingdom is not forceful but quietly effective; Jesus is not idle but working. Jesus sows as his word goes out. Where his word goes out, he is working. In persecution, he is working and his church is growing. Diocletian couldn’t stamp out Christianity, and neither could the Chinese Communists. In fact the church only expanded under the persecution of both.
Jesus tells Peter to put away his sword, that he could ask the Father for 12 legions of angels if he wanted to. But he chose a different way. Jesus would grow his church and make disciples of all nations with 11 average men. He would give them not swords but his Word and Spirit. And though the Kingdom is not forceful, it is offensive, and there will be opposition.
3 The Kingdom is not consummated, yet it shall be. Jesus as King is victorious. Jesus was born as King of his Kingdom, and he reigns as King of his Kingdom. He sends his angels to his fields to reap his harvest. And on that day, the King will send all the wicked into the fire, and the righteous shall shine like the sun.
1) Do not neglect the King’s call. “He who has ears, let him hear.”
2) Trust. Know that Jesus reigns. The King is here, and he reigns for us.
3) Pray and wait. The Kingdom is already here now – we’re just waiting for the consummation.