Wheat and Weeds

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Last week we examined the cornerstone of all Parables. Next, Jesus establishes for his disciples the structure which is to be built upon that cornerstone. Church history has built an institutionalized religion with a thousand mutations from these verses. The result is a three-tiered cosmology with Hell below us and Heaven above us. Along with this cosmology are iron clad rituals which will supposedly allow some people to escape one and arrive at the other once we die. Now that fictional writers, poets, and Hollywood have contributed to this storyline, Heaven and Hell have been firmly fixed within a very particular and threatening framework which, if challenged, emits a visceral reaction to those who have been trained by the system.

My work has been to carefully and surgically dissect the teachings of Christ from their institutional apparatus in which man has entombed them. This can only be seen from outside the light pollution of religion, with an integrity to love and follow this Logos unto where He leads…and that usually means “out” from the system. As I have done this for over a decade, I can share that the corpus of scripture offers a very compelling alternative to the predominant narrative that Jesus inaugurated the only true religion without which all humanity burns in Hell. The parable of the weeds is the first of a series where Jesus invites all comers to see beyond everything.

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Matthew 13:24-30)

Religion’s power over the narrative means that alternative interpretations are threatening and considered heretical. Some have accused me of this. I invite you to draw your own conclusions. If you share my belief that ultimate authority resides in the revealed word of God through scripture and not with those wielding religious power over the masses, then this discovery will be the first of many dominos to topple as you rediscover this alternative way to believe everything you already believe.

“The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

I’ve added Jesus statement about the Kingdom of Heaven because he is reorienting the religious mind from an external, future locus, unto an internal, present reality. This is a watershed shift in understanding. Missing this has caused modern Christian religion to rewrite its eschatology or view of how things will end. We must flow with Christ to his conclusion or we inevitably flow away as I believe recent Church history has done.

I showed last week how parables reveal both the particular and the universal by pointing out the soils are not universally different people, but also particularly different events within individuals. The inclusion of both is required to understand all parables. These are stories designed to free the mind from forced binaries into “seeing” or “hearing” spiritual reality which always possesses a third option. Christ is both man and God, not either or, and his teachings through parables are the same.

Now you have the necessary frameworks to “see” and “hear.”

Jesus explains that the wheat and the weeds are “sons of the Kingdom” and “sons of the Evil one.” Universally, these are two distinct groups of people. Seeing only this inevitably leads us to conclude that there are “innies and outties” or Star Bellied Sneetches on the beaches. Of course I agree that this interpretation is certainly true, but it is not all that is true. While religion is stuck in the universal, the scripture includes the particular. Let me explain:

In Jesus’ explanation of the parable he says in verse (41) “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,”. The phrase “pánta tà skándala” (all the trap, all the causes of sin, all the offense) and “toùs poioùntas tèn ànomian” which can be translated as “those doing lawlessness” or “that causing lawlessness“. Since the first half of this phrase is not limited to individuals but that part of the individual which “causes sin,” it seems to fit better contextually that the second half would also share that declination.

If this is true, then the trajectory is not that those who sin are ultimately weeds and thus gathered and burned, but those who sin have an aspect of their humanity which causes sin which will at the end be separated out from the person. This is not semantics, this is a frameshift. When Jesus says “Let both grow together until the harvest,” (v.30) he’s not only saying that the present Kingdom heaven has both good and bad people, but the Kingdom of heaven within each of us has both good and bad within us. And in time, that evil within us will be separated out allowing that “righteous” or good part to “shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (v.43).

It turns out that the corpus of scripture upholds the separation of the sin from the sinner. In fact, looking at passage about the great day of judgement almost all depict this sorting, or separating, or pulling apart, or dismembering the good “part” from the bad “part.” What starts as a son of the Evil one in the end becomes a son of the Kingdom by the harvesting or removing of the weed, but until then, they grow in the same field (life), in the same kingdom so as not to lose the wheat.

This parable is saying, there are not two groups of people, Hell bound sinners and those saved by religion. There is only a kingdom of people whom by being both born physically and spiritually reflect the sonship of both. The awareness of this Kingdom means we begin to wage a righteous war of battling the good and evil within. By knowing our own struggle, we gain compassion and empathy for others who struggle and are losing ground. Instead of judging others as lost causes (as religion does), we are able to apply the law of love and have hope that one day each of us will be free from all causes of sin, even though we live with sin for now. And if it can be so for us, it can be so for all others.

This parable illuminates the weeds that grow within us all and how it affects the entire world. Instead of being a threat, this story is a message of hope that the weeds, within and among us all, will not last forever, but will be eternally consumed and forgotten by the fire of God. This leaves us to inherit a Kingdom with no weeds, but only a harvest. Can we see it? Can we hear it?

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars (pseudo-falsehood), THAT PART OF THEM will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

“If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:15)

You decide, is this heresy? Or are you seeing and hearing something which has been obscured by religion for centuries? What does the scripture say?