Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

 

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (Series A)icon-download-pdf-wp
July 23rd, 2017

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Epistle: Romans 8:18-27
Lesson: Isaiah 44:6-8
Psalm: Psalm 119:57-64

CLB Commentary – Rev. Gary Witkop

An interesting parable that can be looked at from several points of view: First is the evangelistic way in which we are brought to understand that we are either the good seed, or bad seed, a child of God or a child of the devil. Our place in eternity (verses 41 – 43) is determined by which we are.

Lenski says; “Jesus wants you to ask yourself, … ‘Am I a son of the kingdom or a son of wickedness?’ and ‘How will I fare at the final harvest?’”

Another way to look at this parable is to see that Jesus, the Son of Man, places into the world his children. He does not take us out of the world but rather he leaves us in a world full of non- believers and evil people placed there by the devil. Similarly in the High Priestly Prayer, (John 17:15) Jesus prays that the Father would not take them (believers) out of the world, but rather keep them from the evil one. Then he takes it one step further and says in verses 18 “As You sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

The point is clear in this parable that Jesus creates believers in and among the evil people of the world. He could have created a separate place for the children of God, somewhat like He did with the nation of Israel, but instead Jesus chose to place us in the world among the evil and non- believing people.

We live next door to people of the world. We work among and with people of the world. This is the way God wants it. We cannot be His witness to them unless we live and play and work among them and with them.

God does not want us to self-select ourselves out of the world to live in isolation from the world. We cannot be His light in a dark world if we are not in and among the darkness of the world. Many in the Christian world work hard to remove themselves from interaction with non-believers, but this is not what God wants. He doesn’t want Christians safely secured in “A Mighty Fortress” instead He wants to be our mighty fortress while we live among the people. He will protect us while we are in the world, not by keeping us separated from the world. Luther’s wonderful hymn says; “A mighty fortress is our God” not “Hide me in some mighty fortress.”

Another part of this parable is that Jesus tells his servants not to uproot the weeds because in so doing they would harm and uproot some of the good seed. Jesus loves his children so much that he doesn’t want them hurt. This isn’t to say that our living among the evil ones in this world won’t hurt us, but that Jesus won’t do anything Himself, or by His servants, that would hurt us. The devil planted the bad seed among us and therefore the devil is the source of our pain in this world, not Jesus. Jesus leaves to the end of time the separating out of the good seed from the bad seed. And know this, that day is coming.

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