THE WEEK OF EPIPHANY V – SUNDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 13:24-30
The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. Matthew 13:24,25
This Gospel teaches us how the kingdom of God, or Christianity, fares in this world, especially with respect to its doctrine. It must never be our hope and expectation that there will be nothing but orthodox Christians and the pure doctrine of God’s Word on this earth.
There must also be false Christians and heretics so that the genuine Christians may be proved, as Paul reminds us when he says to the Corinthians, “There must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized” (1 Corinthians 11:19).
This parable does not speak of the false Christians who are failures as Christians only outwardly in their lives. He is speaking of those who are false to Christianity in their doctrine and faith, who go under the name of Christians, who make a fine show in playing the hypocrite and are really injurious. It is a question of conscience, not just of outward action. The servants who can recognize the weeds among the wheat must be enlightened by the Holy Spirit.
The whole point here is that we should not be surprised or dismayed if false doctrine and wrong faith of various kinds make their appearance in our midst. The devil is always present in some way or other among the sons of God (Job 1:6).
PRAYER: Sanctify our hearts and lives in such a way, O Lord, that we may not harm your kingdom in any way by hypocrisy, but in all things prove ourselves good seed, for Christ the Savior’s sake. Amen.