13 December Matthew 13: 24–30
The most basic staple of the Palestinian diet was bread. Therefore,
growing wheat was critical. But a poisonous weed, darnel, looked
like wheat in the early stages and could only be distinguished from
it when the ear appeared. At which point there was a grave risk you
would uproot the wheat when trying to pull out the weeds.
The master, in Jesus’s parable, makes a conscious decision not to
risk the wheat in order to do a bit of weeding. In our world, good
and evil coexist. People sometimes complain that God does not act
to rid the world of evil.
Yet evil and good are not always easily distinguished, and indeed,
they may be entwined. Sometimes the pursuit of justice can become
an unintentional evil. For instance, in our society, harsh benefit
rules designed to weed out a minority of benefit cheats have had a
devastating impact on the lives of most benefit claimants.
Therefore, as Christians, we need to recognise that Jesus suggests in
this parable that God’s focus is upon treasuring the good rather
than punishing the bad and this should be our approach to life too.
Great God, we sometimes think we know what a fair world should look
like, yet our methods of getting there are ham-fisted and too often do
more harm than good. Help us to accept Jesus’ teaching that we can do
better if, like you, we focus more on rejoicing in the good that grows
around us, rather than getting obsessed about doing the weeding.