by Mikal Farley, Indianapolis, Indiana
Becoming a Child in the Kingdom… through a self-descriptive parable; but, who is Jesus to me?

Matthew 13:24-30
New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Matthew 13:36-43
New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Photo by: Mikal Farley (Carmel Clay Parks, Carmel, IN)

Well, I guess you have the parable down; generally when asked to speak on something, there is room for interpretation – a nagging question of “what was the true meaning?” However, in this parable, we also receive an explanation…
Weeds and Wheat grow side by side; the master says we should allow it to grow as to not completely uproot the good work… In the end days, we’ll be judged based on our “fruit” and if we are weeds, we’ll be condemned to be burned, otherwise we’ll be harvested and saved…

I wish I was a hellfire and brimstone preacher because I could really get into this message… But, I’m not a hellfire and brimstone preacher.  Admittedly, I may have been brought up and raised in a very “old school” approach; and I have ways that are ingrained in my life that I am now learning are not necessarily “truths;”  I do know one thing for sure.  God loves everyone.  God is a redemptive God.  God stands for Love, Peace, and Blessing, and Community.

I think theres more to this parable than what meets the eye, don’t you? I mean, I’m a proud daddy of my little 3 year old.  If I look at this parable, I think of predestination; if the “evil one” has planted a seed, then you’re more apt to follow that path.  However, I believe in agency. I believe God has granted me the ability to choose between right and wrong.  I believe God is by nature “good” and “pure.”

I think of my daughter who loves to explore, discover, and create new things.  I think of her as a young field… More than just a single seed.  I think of my daughter and I think Adelyn is full of ideas, she’s full of energy, discovery, positivity, and creativity.  She isn’t just a single grain or a seed.  I think God’s love is a redemptive love.  I think God grants us the ability to choose between right and wrong.

The other day, we were walking out of Meijer and Adelyn, decided she wanted to yell, just to see what would happen.  I think, to her surprise she heard her echo against the brick wall and so she did it again, and again.  Now, there is no “sin” in this behavior, the act isn’t ‘of the evil one’ but she was exploring her boundaries.  Adelyn is just three years old, but sometimes she challenges me and her momma.  Sometimes she experiments new ways, demands things her way, and when things don’t go her way – she wants an explanation.  Just as she seeks for understanding now – I can only imagine what she will be like as she gets older.

As much as I love my daughter; I know later in life she will be exposed to things that make me uncomfortable.  She may be exposed to things that I don’t want her to experience and things that may cause her hurt.  She will experience anger, frustration, disappointment, and even confusion.  She may even participate in behaviors that cause those same feelings; but, that (at least in my eyes) will not make her a “weed.”

Instead, I think our lives are like a crop – that in their infancy are built and filled will good seeds.  However, life and life’s experiences sew Darnell – a weed that chokes the roots of good plants, yet resemble the appearance of a weed; however, poisonous if ingested.  We are to live our lives the best we can – as examples.  We are to go forward and share the good news.  We are to grow and develop.  We are to experiment, challenge things that are culturally skewed, and we are called to share the message of Love.

However, we are human.  We make mistakes – though we are not the sum of our past mistakes.  We take life and we learn lessons.  Each “weed” in my field is a lesson.  I cannot go through my field and pull up each and every weed – as I have learned from that weed how to be a better person.

In the larger scope of things, Good and Evil coincide.  It is not “the will of God” for evil to coexist; however, agency is granted to us – the ability to choose how to act and behave.  Who am I to declare if your field is mostly weeds or filled with wheat?  I’m no different.  I have wheat and weeds growing in tandem; we’re all at different parts in our journey.

How are we to act? How are we to behave? Well let us first ask… Who is Jesus to me?

Photo by: Mikal Farley (Carmel Clay Parks, Carmel, IN)

Jesus was a “Brave Criminal?”

Jesus was radical and challenged rules?

Yet, Jesus is there for us when we need him? In Times of turmoil and conflict in our lives?

How does “Let us fix our hearts on Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith” make you feel?

I know for me, as I examine the message, and I think about my “field” – my wheat and weeds growing side-by-side; I think to me, Jesus is the Master.  He is looking out for me.  I will continue to mature – I will continue to grow, change, develop.  ‘The Master of my soul’ will one day send his Angels to help rid me of my weeds.  He will transform me to be perfect.

My daughter is a blessing to me; I can and should grow to be an example to her.   I should dedicate my time to strive to be a blessing to her – I should try to be the best possible example.

Jesus was ‘radical’ – He ‘challenged rules.’ Jesus stood up for things that were not right – but yet, he was a very human example of a human being standing up for what he believed.  Adelyn loves to challenge the rules.  She loves to understand why – and often times that makes me wonder why? Sometimes I think I make up rules just for rules sake and no real premise, but Adelyn keeps me true to what a rule should be for.

Sometimes I find myself a bit frustrated with Adelyn because she does challenge me. I’d like to think that things are always perfect; that she listens when she should; and perhaps more importantly that I make up rules that relevant and just not rules out of sheer convenience to me…

Oh wait… (about that last point) I think I just stated that I find myself frustrated with my daughter because I make up arbitrary rules that in the end don’t really make a difference except for my convenience. So I guess the reality is, I should be upset with myself because I make up rules that ‘seem important’ but in the end, don’t really accomplish anything that help her developmentally, keep her safe, build her character, or otherwise improve her as a child.

Come to think of it; don’t you kind of think that’s what the Leading Congregation’s in Mission video talks about when it mentions Jesus as a Brave Criminal?  Standing up for things that are just and right; yet simultaneously preaching love? 

God’s mission is more than just a companion on the journey; God’s mission is more than just Jesus will you be my friend; God’s mission is lived out through Jesus as that scroll is unrolled in Luke and the words of Isaiah are read.  Then Jesus declares that passage had been fulfilled; that the Son of God was walking among them.

Photo by: Mikal Farley (Carmel Clay Parks, Carmel, IN)

We are called into mission.  We are not called today to judge one another – this passage in Matthew reminds us that in the end times it will be God who will judge us by the fruit that we bear.  It’s not us, the workers in the field that are sent out to uproot everything; we are called to go and till the ground; we are called to work the field; we are called to feed to week, minister to the poor in spirit, the broken, the weak, the hurting, the sick…

We are called to bring the story of a redemptive love – a Love that knows no bounds, no socio-economic status, no political stature, no contingencies, no strings attached – and share that love.

We are called to fulfill the name Community of Christ.  Invitation through evangelism, Compassionate ministries that abolish poverty and end suffering, and Justice and Peacemaking where we pursue peace on earth and develop disciples to serve.

We are called to be like Adelyn…

We are called to explore.

We are called to figure out what rules are actually important and what rules have been put in place just out of convenience.

We are called to discover – discover where God is leading us – discover how we can best help our neighbor.

We are called to tell everyone the Good news that they are loved.

Message by:
Photo of Mikal Farley
Mikal Farley
Priest Community of Christ • Indianapolis• Webmaster

Mikal Farley serves as the Public Information chair for the Indianapolis Congregation. He also serves as a Public Information Advisor to the Kentucky-Indiana USA Mission Center.

Mikal has worked for Herschend Family Entertainment Corp.; Ashley Nostalgia; and most recently he continues to work for a global consumer electronics company as a technician and trainer.

Mikal serves the Community of Christ in the capacity of a Priest.  Priests represent Christ primarily as ministers of presence who model Jesus as Friend in households, families, congregations, and community.

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Photo of Alisha Bauman-Farley
Alisha Bauman-Farley
Community of Christ» Contributor

Alisha is a member of the Community of Christ Indianapolis Congregation.  She was instrumental in helping expand the congregation’s imagination and become vulnerable to the spirit through Smore Hangout.  Alisha also helps bring inspiration to life in the form of art throughout the forum (with the large mural) and several sacramental paintings throughout the sanctuary. Additionally, Alisha served as our Mission Center Youth Minister for several years.

She currently serves as a stay at home mom to a very active three year old, Adelyn – who when present graces us with running about and sometimes even dancing along (Adelyn that is)!