We spent 8 months in the parables over the last months at theStory. One parables that really stuck out to me was the parable of the wheat and the weeds. This parable flies in the face of a lot of theology that I was taught as a child. My first understanding of my faith and salvation was presented to me with a picture two cliffs with a huge chasm in between and how I am on one side and God is on the other side. Then to get me across that monstrous hole between the two cliffs which represents my sin, I need Jesus to bridge that hole with the cross.
What this analogy eventually makes you think, especially lead kids to think if taken to the logical conclusion, is that some of us are on the man side, and others of us are on God’s side. The cross only appears to get to the other side if you say a magic prayer about inviting Jesus into your heart. Rather than that, the chasm separates the two groups of people into two camps. There are those on man’s side and those on God’s side. This line of thinking conveniently makes it easy to creating an ‘us’ and ‘them’ theology which we know is quite toxic.
The wheat and weeds tell a different story. They tell me that the in the kingdom of God, we are both on the same side. This side that we are all on can’t be labelled by good or bad, because it’s all mashed in together with very little clues on to how to figure out what is what. Our first instinct is always to label something and then remove it like the servant in the parable. We take these opportunities all the time. As soon as someone doesn’t meet up to our expectations of what “good” is, then we want to pull them up as to not infect the rest of the good. It may be all in good intentions, but Jesus warns that by doing this we will probably pull up the good along with the bad. He doesn’t give us any standard on how we will know what is what, but he does tell us to back off and leave the pulling up of the weeds for the professionals.
What this bridge analogy eventually does is make us believe that we are on the winning side and there are those on the losing side. What a brutal way to look at our faith. I prefer to see it as a field, where there were wheat and weeds that grew together. Maybe we are all on the same side of the cliff because of the death and resurrection of Christ. Our job is not to bring people over to our winning side but to be wheat and make others into wheat also. According to this parable, the lines are already blurry between what wheat is and what it isn’t. So if we can view the world as a massive field where wheat and weeds grow together, then we will be living a consistent life where we are helping the entire world, wheat or weeds become better wheat. It will allow us to stop judging people based on what side they are on or what they are made of because we will treat people and see people under the same light. After all we are all a type of plant in a field, and according to Jesus it’s not our job to really decipher between the two. So we can rest, knowing that the hard work is done for us and it’s just our job to grow along side of the good and bad.