“ ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ “ (Matthew 13:30 NKJV)
You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it: the church is full of hypocrites. Usually, it’s an excuse to stay out of church – not because the people in church are necessarily worse than others, but because they don’t live up to the high standards that we proclaim about living in Jesus. I’ll be honest with you: there are people who go to church who do it because it’s good for business or their social standing. And the amazing thing is, Jesus predicted that in this parable. According to the beginning of the story, a farmer planted seed, but when plants sprouted, weeds were growing among the desired plants. The servants talked about pulling up the weeds, but the master said to wait until the harvest time. One understanding of the parable is that evil integrates well with the world, even among God’s people. There are those who would wish to rid the world of evil but doing so could harm the good. In the end, God will take care of all those who are evil.
If the evil we see in the world is getting you down, take heart. God sees it. God knows about it. God’s going to take care of it. Until then, the one true point the parable doesn’t make is that evil can change. Those who are evil can be changed by the grace of God. In fact, God’s people are called to share His grace and forgiveness with all people, including the evil ones. And the OK ones. And the not so bad ones. And…well, you get it. Seek ways to share the love of God with the people around you and be used to change those who are evil into children of God.
Lord, as I encounter evil in this world, give me the grace to show them Your love. Lord, only You can change those who are evil. May I be an example of Your love and grace to those who need to know it.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.