“Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?” He replied, “An enemy did this” (Matthew 13:27b, 28a).
We have really had the hot weather here in Lancaster County and it’s been rather dry as well. Nevertheless I am able to report that the weeds are growing extremely well in our garden and in various landscaped portions of our yard. We have a couple of small garden plots in our back yard where we have planted tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, corn, lima beans and many herbs. Popping up through the soil all around the intended plants are scores of weeds that appear to be thriving.
Our daily verse has often intrigued me. Jesus is telling a series of “Kingdom” parables in Matthew 13, the most familiar of which is the Parable of the Sower. The statement found in the daily verse is from the second parable which begins in verse 24. This parable speaks of a landowner who sowed good seed in his field, but while he slept his enemy came in and sowed weeds. Later when the weeds appeared beside the intended crop his servants, knowing that he had sown good seed, asked him what most gardeners often ask themselves, “Where then did the weeds come from?”
Isn’t that also the very question we often have in our own lives and in the work of God? The answer in the parable as stated by the landowner expresses a vital truth: “An enemy did this.” Later, in explaining the parable Christ plainly says, “The enemy that sowed them is the devil” (v. 39). Indeed, this enemy continues his dastardly work individually and all throughout the world. Martin Luther wrote, “But still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe.”
We must follow some good advice I recall my parents saying every summer after planting our garden, “You’ve got to keep up with the weeds!” Whether we get down on our knees and uproot them one at a time, use a hoe or cultivator, or spray for them which we saw last night on our walk as we passed our Amish neighbor’s farm.
Now let me make it clear; I don’t attribute the weeds in our little vegetable garden to a literal enemy, but they’re sure a reminder of the truth of this parable. Today, may God help each of us as we continue to overcome the work of our archenemy in keeping up with the weeds and let us also remember, “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).