Living Weed Free
“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?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 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’” (Matthew 13:27–30 NIV).
Shortly after college a young man asked me the age-old question, “So if God is so good, in charge of everything, and He’s so powerful, then why does He allow innocent people to suffer?” This man had experienced a personal tragedy and my trite Christian answers did not seem adequate. I was bothered by my own lack of a good response. If I didn’t have a good answer to this most basic question then I reasoned I couldn’t call myself a real follower of Christ. So, I set out to discover my own answer. Part of that answer came from this parable.
Jesus gives the meaning of this parable in verses 36–43. If we drive by a grove, field, or orchard today we will see weeds that are allowed to flourish amongst the prized fruit or vegetables. A farmer will tell you that removing the weeds will harm the growth of the healthy plants, and in fact, the weeds in many cases cause the plants to become stronger. God must allow, because of the gift of free will, the weeds of those who choose to follow Satan to dwell amongst us. We can take comfort that at harvest time, at the final judgment, God will separate the weeds from the wheat and those who have chosen to follow Christ will finally live in freedom with Him.
Do you have an answer to the question of why God allows evil to exist? How does this parable answer the question for you?
Cheri Cowell is the author of the latest Bible Study from AMG, Parables and Word Pictures. She has a Masters in Theological Studies from Asbury Seminary and is excited about leading a Parables Tour of the Holy Land in January, 2014. To learn more visit www.CheriCowell.com