Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30)
Jesus gives the meaning of this parable in verses 36-43. All the parables in Matthew 13 teach us about God and his Kingdom. They explain what the Kingdom is really like as opposed to our expectations of it. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a geographic location, but a spiritual realm where God rules and where we share in his eternal life. We join that Kingdom when we trust in Christ as Savior.
The young weeds and the young blades of wheat look the same and can’t be distinguished until they are grown and ready for harvest. Weeds (unbelievers) and wheat (believers) must live side by side in this world. God allows unbelievers to remain for a while, just as a farmer allows weeds to remain in his field so that the surrounding wheat isn’t uprooted with them. At the harvest, however, the weeds will be uprooted and thrown away. God’s harvest (Judgment) of all people is coming. We are to make ourselves ready by ensuring that our faith is sincere.
One test of sincere faith is found in James 2:14: “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?” While James doesn’t suggest that one can be saved by works (see also Ephesians 2:8-10), action is the fruit of a follower of Jesus. Radical love, uncompromising truth—these are the actions of a person of faith. In what ways has your faith been tested? How have you responded? What will you do this week to show the sincerity of your faith?