Matthew 13:28-29 (NIVUK)
‘The servants asked him, “Do you want us to go and pull them up?”
29 ‘“No,” he answered, “because while you are pulling up 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.”’
Parables almost always have a twist, something that doesn’t make sense that shocks us into a new understanding, and this is it in the story. Even with my limited gardening, I know that if you don’t deal with weeds all that happens is that they spread and get more and more of a hold: surely the servants are right, they should deal with them straight away. But no, the farmer says leave them. I have often heard people say that they struggle to believe in God because of the bad things that happen in the world. It seems like Jesus understands this sentiment, but despite the fact it might not make sense to us, God has taken the deliberate decision to not simply charge in and get rid of everything that is bad or spoilt so only good things remain. Why? Because to do so would risk damaging the harvest, the good fruit, that he longs for in this world. But when the harvest has been made safe, he will act. The great putting right will come.
Father, help us to be patient waiting for the promised end to suffering and trouble, and persistent in seeking to live faithfully in the meantime.