Join us today for an episode about the reason we aren't supposed to judge...
Today's episode is focused on Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43. I talk about how we are challenged to see a new reality by God. I also talk about how in that reality what we often see as sin in others turns out to be our own.
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Episode 1341: Imagine a New Reality
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1,341 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:07] Laura Warfel: I'm Laura Warfel. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to realize there is always more that God calls us to is key.
[00:00:26] And one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.
[00:00:41] Scott Maderer: We've often, throughout history, treated women as they were less valued in God's kingdom. Then men, we were sure that whites skin was a guarantee of entrance into heaven and black, or brown or yellow or red was lesser. We were convinced that everyone should behave like the quote, [00:01:00] civilized world first is Great Britain now is the USA or the West.
[00:01:05] Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship podcast, you'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:36] In today's spiritual foundation episode, I talk about Matthew Chapter 13, verses 24 through 30 and 36 through 43. I talk about how we are challenged to see a new reality by God, and I also talk about how that in that reality, what we often see as sin, as others turns out to be our own. Matthew chapter 13 verses 24 through 30 and [00:02:00] 36 through 43 says he put before them another parable.
[00:02:04] The Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field, but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well, and the slaves of the householder came and said to him, master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
[00:02:25] Where then did these weeds come from? He answered them. An enemy has done this. The slave said to him, then, do you want us to go and gather them? But he replied, no. For in gathering the weeds, you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest and at the harvest time, I will tell the reapers, collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.
[00:02:53] Then he left the crowds and went into the house and his disciples approached him saying, Explain to us the parable of the [00:03:00] weeds of the field. He answered. The one who sows the good seed is the son of man. The field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one and the enemy who sowed them as the devil.
[00:03:14] The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire. So will it be at the end of the age? The son of man will send his angels and they will collect out of his kingdom, all causes of sin and all evil doers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
[00:03:35] Then the righteous will shine like the son and the kingdom of the Father. Let anyone with ears listen. This is one of those passages that challenges us in a lot of ways. It challenges me, at least in a lot of ways, in the way I think about things. Jesus gives me pause with this passage. It seems to remind us that we're not really [00:04:00] equipped to see the depths of anyone's heart to see what anyone else really thinks.
[00:04:07] Are they transformed? Are they repentant? Are they a sinner? Are they a saint? What's going on in their heart? It seems to. Here Jesus is saying, let both of them grow together. Weeds and wheat, weeds and flowers, weeds, and whatever else might be growing in our garden. Don't worry about the weed patch.
[00:04:28] Just let it grow. That seems like a free and easy kind of living. A new agey, remove all the boundaries. Just let it be everything goes approach. But that's not really what I seem to be getting from this. Notice a couple of things from this passage. Important things that might change how we can look at it.
[00:04:52] This parable doesn't say that there's no such thing as sin. It doesn't argue that there's no right or wrong. The householder when [00:05:00] told about what has happened about the weeds and the field says an enemy has done this. Jesus isn't claiming that sin has disappeared. He acknowledges that there's evil at work in the world.
[00:05:10] There's evil and sin in the minds and hearts of each and all of us, and that the effects of that can be devastating and that yes, we are in the business of trying to root it out. But this brings us to another point in the parable. Perhaps we don't always know what we're looking at. I know I was, as a child, I was weeding a garden with my father and I'm pulling the weeds out and I'm pulling the weeds out and I'm pulling the weeds out.
[00:05:36] My dad's pulling weeds in another part of the garden and suddenly I looked over at one of the weeds and I said, Hey dad, this weed has a baby carrot at the bottom of it. Because it turned out that we were actually pulling up the carrot plants, not the weeds, because we couldn't tell the difference between the true.
[00:05:53] The truth is we all have blind spots. We all have sins that we look at and we say that sin [00:06:00] that one that other person over there is doing. That's the unforgivable sin. That's the thing that no one can repent of. That's the thing that I that's it. That's the limit.
[00:06:10] That's the one. But it almost always is a sin that we're not doing. You'll remember that story of the speck and the plank in the eye. The point was we often think sins we don't have are the sins that are worse than the ones we do have. We're more ready to correct someone else's behavior than to pay attention to our own.
[00:06:32] And in fact, at times, what we want to correct in someone else might even be a difference in perspective. We might not even be able to see the situation correctly. Maybe we're not interpreting it right. Maybe we're not interpreting scripture right? Or maybe we're not interpreting the person and their intentions, right?
[00:06:51] If you think about it as Christians, we don't have a perfect record of thinking about sin. And right and wrong in a perfect way. [00:07:00] We've often, throughout history, treated women as they were less valued in God's kingdom than men. We were sure that white skin was a guarantee of entrance into heaven and black or brown or yellow, or red was lesser.
[00:07:15] We were convinced that everyone should behave like the civilized world. First is Great Britain now is the USA or the West. That sort of uniform expression of faith has to be exported to the world. That's the perfect path to heaven. And now many of us are embarrassed to have held those views in history and to look back at time and say, that's not really what the Kingdom of Heaven is about.
[00:07:44] The parable also tells us that even if we do know, even if we're right and we are correctly seeing sin, that pulling out the weed by ourselves can often do more damage than just leaving it alone and [00:08:00] letting God sort it out at the end. It tells us that hospitality is the top of our to-do list. It tells us that if loving neighbors with the same energy, that we love God as our mo, then our approach to sin has to be different from pointing fingers and tossing folks out.
[00:08:20] I'm a Methodist and the Methodist church is in a middle of a disagreement and things that are tossing and the church is splitting and people are leaving over the issue of homosexuality. And I'll tell you the truth, I have no idea. If there's a sin or not a sin in that place, that's not my job.
[00:08:39] I don't need to decide that. I just need to love on each other, and it's why I'm staying United Methodist because I believe that we should change and allow in inclusion, we should recognize those that believe differently and act differently even whether we believe it or [00:09:00] not. In my case, I don't believe it's a sin, but.
[00:09:04] I don't know. That's simply how I interpret the passages based on my reading. The clear message of this parable is that the ultimate judgment is God's job and not ours. So I don't know whether I'm right or wrong, but it doesn't matter. We don't know enough. We can't love enough, and we can't care enough to ever judge anyone else rightly trying to take over God's job.
[00:09:32] And judge others, in my opinion, shows a lack of faith. It's taking away the largeness of God. It's saying that God's not gonna deal with sin in the way we want them to do, so forget God. I'll handle it myself. It seems arrogant and reeks of pride and self-centeredness. Instead, I would say Jesus is saying trust that God is still in charge.[00:10:00]
[00:10:00] He calls us to trust that even though it appears that goodness and righteousness, and living a life of love is simply a recipe for being taken advantage of, for letting people get away with doing the wrong thing, for being too permissive. Whatever language you want to use, that still God's way and it's the better way to be.
[00:10:20] God's way is a more whole, more sustaining and more satisfying way to live. What do we do about sin? We live a life of righteousness in a public way so that those who have not yet found their way to God can see in us the power of Christ. We don't turn our back to sin, but instead we overpower it. We counteract it, not with judgment, not with looking at someone else and saying, you are wrong.
[00:10:54] But instead with love by saying, you know what? I have no [00:11:00] idea what's going on in your life, but I can walk with you and I can love you. I can give you hospitality. I can extend grace. I can extend, not hatred, not exclusion, but healing. I'm not out to exile or condemned you. Instead, I'm here to walk with you and love you.
[00:11:20] And the interesting thing is when we create that time, when we create that hospitality, when we show that love, then actually change can happen. And sometimes those weeds actually turn in to the flowers of grace. Thanks for listening.
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In today's episode, I talk with you about:
Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'" – Matthew 13: 30