“Permitting” the Weeds
This past week, the week before Easter, those
who have land to mow have tended to the
tradition and done their first cleaning and
mowing of the yard. We don’t like weeds; we
In the parable of the wheat and the tares,
Jesus tells us about both:
24 …“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed
good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and
sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop,
then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came
and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then
does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’
The field is you and me, and the world. God created it all good,
you included. We wonder about our errors – ours and others’,
but Jesus states that an enemy has done that and leaves it at that.
We also wonder what to do about them weeds:
The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them
The history of mankind is literally littered with well-intended
destructive attempts to eradicate evil. The prime Christian
example was the crucifixion of Jesus. However, we can add to this
the many atrocities committed by the descendants of those who
did it on Him. On a grand scale, the Inquisitions and the
Holocausts. Closer to us, witch trials and the lynching of people
different than us, discriminations of all sorts. At the most personal
level, self-blame and all reasonable wars and attempts to dispose
of the perceived undesirables in ourselves and in others.
But Jesus and God have a different solution—a pacifist one.
It involves two steps: a NO and a YES:
29 But he said, ‘NO, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot
the wheat with them.
To exert forceful attempts to uproot evil is to actually play into
the Devil’s destructive schemes: it will destroy God’s good.
Instead, Jesus says,
30 LET them both grow together until the harvest,
“Let.” The Greek word is apheite, which means “permit.” That’s
what God does to you and all, He who is the perfect Judge, and
who (unlike us who only have imperfect views) perfectly sees all.
Why should we not do this to ourselves and others?
Jesus thus ends the story:
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.” ’ ”
God’s good crop cannot but come to fruition and yield fruit….
…If we give it what God gives it, that is, time!
Both the Cross and the Sabbath are about apheite: “Let it be.…”
May you experience it for yourself, as well as grant it to others,
just as it is extended to you.