Wheat and Weeds

“He really knows the Bible well.”  I’ve been told this more than once by some well meaning person about someone who is obviously not following Jesus.  The person described as such a knowledgeable Bible student may be a drunkard, a wife beater, a drug abuser, or someone who can’t control their temper and is so arrogant that no employer wants to keep them on the payroll.  Their life is so out of control that no one would confuse them for a disciple of Jesus, but still, as I visit with a relative, or concerned friend, they will comment on how much Bible they know.  “They just quote the Bible all the time.” 

For some reason I kept thinking about this as I prepared this sermon.  It didn’t seem to work into the content of the sermon and after writing the above paragraph, I’m not sure it even fits that well with the parables we discussed from Matthew 13!  However, it does illustrate the point that just knowing the Bible is not enough.  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear,” Jesus said repeatedly.  But notice that in the Parable of the Soils (Matthew 13) Jesus’ description of the person represented by each kind of soil had heard the word.  They heard the word  BUT:

  • they “do not understand it” (Path – 13:19)
  • “since they have no root, they last only a short time” (Rocky – 13:21)
  • “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word” (Thorns – 13:22)

“But the seed falling on good soil refers to people who hear the word and understand it (Matthew 13:23).  Who cares how much Bible you know; the world needs to see people LIVING the word.  Or, to say it more in line with the teaching of Scripture, they need to see the Living Word living through us!  That is the person who truly has “ears to hear.”   And that is the person who is living as a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

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2 Responses to “Wheat and Weeds”

  1. avatar Amanda says:

    Good sermon. I appreciate how you have been pointing out that the purpose of the parables is not to teach us as specific doctrine so much as it is calling us to a response. Today, I particularly appreciated you saying that these parables do not call us to be “wheat inspectors or weed detectors” except in our own selves. It is God's job to sort out the wheat and the weeds, not ours. Our job is to focus on ourselves and our own relationship with Christ, making sure that we are being true to his calling.

  2. A very excellent call to self-examination! With all witch burning Monty Python jokes aside, we need to be reminded not to be the weed pullers, just be something that grows. It’s too much of a burden to worry about who needs to get pulled; it’s too easy to “hunt” those that are the same as us, giving into fear. I think maybe Yoda had something going with, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

    I hope that if anything the Jr. High boys get from the lesson series we’re diving into is not to worry so much about “proving” anything about the bible. It’s too much of a burden to prove God. Let God prove God, and let the rest of us just live a life of love, to the best example we can, in the human face of God, Jesus Christ. Maybe we lose a bit of the essence of scripture when we look at it as a legal document. The role of the lawyer is such a tiresome position. Back in the army the term “barracks lawyer” was used for a Specialist rank or E-4. Basically, a Specialist is not a sergeant, yet is no longer a private. It’s the rank between being a private and becoming an NCO.

    Where am I going with this?

    Well a Specialist acts…well… like their special, they’ve been around the block, know how things work. They’ve read their army manual and studied for the NCO board. What they don’t know doesn’t exist, and what they do know, exists (hint: lots of sarcasm here!) Whenever any private had an issue, rest assure a Specialist was nearby to solve it, hence the term, “barracks lawyer.” And before you ask, yes, I too was once a barracks lawyer! Sadly though, seldom did any of our lawyering ever help any of the problems privates had. What privates needed was an example to follow, someone to look to and say, “That’s how I want to grow, that’s the kind of solder I want to be.” Couldn’t this work for Christians as well? A young sprout looking up at an aged golden wheat and think, “Wow, that stalk really loves Jesus!” without the need of insight to whether that stalk is a weed? And the stalk, the “wheat,” seeing the young sprout or their fellow stalks and think, “Wow, what a beautiful scene of unity!” and not worry about whom among them is a weed?

    (Disclaimer: Please do not read into the imagery with soldiers and Christians!)

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