Jesus then told another story to illustrate that God is working out his purposes, even when people do not fully understand what is happening (70).
“A man scatters seed in his field. He sleeps at night, and he works during the day. And all the time, his seeds are sprouting and growing, even though he doesn’t fully understand how this is happening. The plants grow and bear grain naturally. First the tender stalk appears, then the budding head, and finally the full head of grain. When the grain is ripe, the man starts cutting it with his sickle, because harvest time has come.”
But Jesus also wanted to teach them that, even when we are diligent in cultivating our faith, we have an enemy who is always working to uproot our faith. So he told them this story:
“A farmer sowed good seed for his wheat crop in his field. One night, when everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. When the plants grew and the heads of grain began to form, the weeds grew up, too. The farmer’s servants came to him and asked: ‘Where did the weeds come from?’ The farmer replied, ‘It was an enemy who did this.’ ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’ they asked. ‘No,’ he said, ‘because you might accidentally pull up some of the wheat when you’re pulling up the weeds.”
“Let the wheat and the weeds grow together until harvest. Then I’ll have the harvest workers pull up the weeds first, tie them in bundles and burn them. Afterwards, they will gather the wheat and put it in my barn.'”
Later, after the crowds had left, Jesus explained this story about the weeds to his students.
“The farmer who sowed the good seed is me. The field is the world. The good seed represents you people who serve God. The enemy who sowed the weeds is Satan, and the weeds represent people who serve Satan instead of God. The harvest will come at the end of time, and the harvest workers are my angels.
“As the weeds in the story are gathered up and burned in the fire, the same sort of thing will happen at the end of time: I will send out my angels to gather up intentional sinners who will be thrown into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and grind their teeth in perpetual pain. Then God’s servants will shine like the sun in God’s kingdom.
“Listen to what God is saying to you!”
(70) Matthew 13:24-43, Mark 4:26-29