I think TV commercials for prescription drugs are so amusing. The visuals you watch present one story—usually a positive, peppy person living a happy, healthy life with sunny skies and smiley pets.
Meanwhile the narrator talking during the commercial is racing through a list of nasty side effects that nobody in their right mind would ever want to experience.
“Wait. What? If I take Boostiva my fingernails could grow out, my inner organs turn to rocks, my skin turns green and I cackle like a witch?”
Some people take the risks of side effects along with the drug and do just fine. Others not so much.
Jesus teaches us about the risk of side effects as his followers living in a world that doesn’t follow him.
Jesus’ good news for us is that he is fully aware of the side effects and—much different than pharmaceutical companies—not only warns us about the risks but he welcomes responsibility for the risks onto himself.
In his parable of the weeds and the wheat, Jesus describes a field where both weeds and wheat are growing together. The weeds represent unbelievers, denying the words and ways of Jesus. The wheat represents believers, who trust and love Jesus and seek his ways.
The owner of the field represent Jesus, who says, “Let both grow together until the harvest” (Matthew 13:30).
Do you encounter unbelievers at work? Do your children experience an unbelieving, ungodly influence at school not just from students but the education system itself? Do you struggle as you observe the corrupt immorality spreading through media?
Jesus promises that your life as a believer in an unbelieving world is going to experience side effects. The side effects are the dangers of unbelief and evil lurking so near. Right next to us like weeds growing next to crops in a field.
But Jesus owns it all. He wants interaction between wheat and weeds, between believers and unbelievers. Because his mission for us sends us into the world to rub elbows with the unsaved. To show and share the love of Jesus, for their salvation.
“The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom” Matthew 13:37,38). Jesus himself plants the seeds of wheat. That’s you and me and all believers. That means you are who you are, where you are, and how you are not by accident, or a couple lucky breaks or a bad streak of luck, or entirely your own personal choice.
When a good gardener plants a garden she knows which vegetables grow best in dry soil, which grow best in full sun, which seeds need to be planted ½” deep and which seeds need to be spaced 6” apart.
You are a believer in Jesus because he planted you in just the right place in his kingdom, right where he wanted you in this world. Right next to unbelievers who need you.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, when I am frustrated with the immorality and unbelief in this world, give me grace and patience to live and grow together with unbelievers. Help me resist their ways, while reaching out in love. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Matthew 10:16-20. What words of Jesus show that his mission is dangerous? What words show his promise to take care of believers?