Will I be Wheat or Darnel?

Image by Pavlofox from Pixabay


Isaiah 44:6-8
Psalm 86:11-17
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-43

Today’s reading in Matthew follows the reading from last Sunday. It also follows the same theme. Jesus expects his followers to live the life that God intended humans to live. Last week was about planting the seed and this week is more about the harvest.

He put another parable before them. ‘The kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.’ NJB

The point Jesus is making is that there are God loving people in the world who will find themselves with God in the New Life. But there are also people who are filled with sin living next to the good people. Some people think we should get rid of those sinners so that the world would be a pleasant place to live. God’s plan is to sort it all out when we die.

I had to look up darnel. The Greek text uses the word because it is also known as false wheat. It puts up a seed stalk and forms seed much like wheat. Today, we have chemicals that will kill darnel, but they also kill wheat because both are grasses. I don’t know how they handled the problem in Jesus’ day. In the parable the two plants were cut separately, and the darnel was burned.

More to the point for us is how God handles the human harvest. It is important to note that God intends to allow each of us opportunity to choose Him. His plan is all inclusive. The plan covers still born babies, infant deaths, pre-teens, and teens. I don’t know His plan, but I know God wants every one of us to join him in the New Jerusalem.

Those who resist to the last will be burned in the fire.

There has been some turmoil over the riots after the death of George Floyd. Many are pushing Black Lives Matter and many are opposed to that effort. There is an equal reaction called Police Lives Matter and one called All Lives Matter.

Where should Christians stand?

As I wrote above, God wants every one of us to join him in the New Jerusalem. God is on our side, that is, the side of everyone. He does not want us to kill anyone. When we start thinking like that then we become Adolph Hitler and Pol Pot. We even get to decide who the evil ones are. That is the job of the Son of God.

It is easy to see the burning and looting and blame all the demonstrators. If they had not taken to the streets the crimes would not have happened. It also seems to be too easy to accuse all protestors of being criminals.

Christians should be upset that black men are so often killed by the police. The FBI collects all kinds of crime information except deaths caused by the police. The Washington Post started collecting information on police shootings in 2015. They found that about 1,000 people are killed every year by police shootings. Half of the dead are white though they are 60% of the population, 26% killed are black from 12% of the population, and 18% of those killed are Hispanic who are 18% of the population.

Oddly enough, while the safest place to live in the US is Rhode Island with only 4 police shootings per one million population, New York has only 5 per million while Illinois and Michigan each have 8 per million. Alaska has 53 per million.

Christians cannot allow our culture to dictate what we think. We must always seek first the Word on all issues and then get the best information about what is happening and apply the Word to that information. When we see that 12% of our population is more likely to be poor, under educated, living in rough housing, eating poorly, and now getting Covid 19 at a much higher rate, we must understand that the Word of God expects us to do what we can to help.

It is easy to say, ‘I can’t solve the problems of the world, so I won’t even try.’ But if a few million of us do what we can, people’s lives can improve. Jesus did say, ‘the poor will always be with us,’ but he never said to stop helping the poor.


Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

Adopted as Sons

Photo by Foto Phanatic on Unsplash


Isaiah 55:1-5
Psalm 145: 8-22
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

Paul writes, Before Christ and my own conscience I assure you that I am speaking the plain truth when I say that there is something that makes me feel very depressed, like a pain that never leaves me. It is the condition of my brothers and fellow-Israelites, and I have actually reached the pitch of wishing myself cut off from Christ if it meant that they could be won for God.

Just think what the Israelites have had given to them. The privilege of being adopted as sons of God, the experience of seeing something of the glory of God, the receiving of the agreements made with God, the gift of the Law, true ways of worship, God’s own promises—all these are theirs, and so too, as far as human descent goes, is Christ himself, Christ who is God over all, blessed for everPhillips

As always, we must look for the context of this passage. The first 8 chapters deal with righteousness in one way or another. The letter was sent to the church (really several churches) in Rome, most of whom were gentiles. Paul clearly felt they needed a through grounding in what constitutes being a righteous person in the eyes of God.

Chapters 9,10, and 11 deal with the Jews. These three chapters, along with other NT passages, have given rise to a hatred of Jews among Christians for about 1,950 years. Yet, that was not at all what Paul wrote. Don’t forget that Paul wrote this: It is the condition of my brothers and fellow-Israelites. And don’t forget that Paul was breathing fire to round up all followers of Jesus and kill them as heretics. Paul never forgot it.

Paul never lost faith that God had a plan for His Chosen People. We are quick to write people off as lost when we see their actions or hear their words. We’ll say he’s on the road to ruin before we say he’ll turn around. God sees ALL of us as sinners. Not a one of us can live the life God wants us to live. That’s why His Son had to become a human and die carrying the weight of the sins of billions of people.

Jews are no more to blame for the evil in the world than any of the rest of us.

Many millions have been won for God. Paul’s prayer has been answered in part. Still, there are more gentiles yet to save than Jews.


Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence