Matthew 13:27-28 (NIVUK)
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…
In the parable, the cause of the weeds that threaten the harvest and consequently the livelihoods of those dependent on the farmer, especially his servants, is the mysterious enemy who we’re told nothing about. Is this a rival smallholder? Someone the farmer has wronged before who bears a grudge? Or is it simply an act of vandalism and simple nastiness? We don’t know, but the key thing is, it is not the farmer’s fault. If we take Jesus to be using this story to throw light on suffering and bad things in the world, he seems to be saying whoever’s fault it is, it’s not God’s. So who or what is the enemy? Is it the Devil? Is it the systems and structures of society? Or is it our fault, with the choices we make? I think it’s fair to say, it’s probably all of the above.
Father, forgive us for our part in the suffering and brokenness of this, your world, for the ways that sometimes we are the ‘enemy’. Thank you that despite this, you still love us.