Friday, December 6, 2013

Matthew 13:36-43

"Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Matthew 13:36-43

In these verses, Christ is explaining the parable of the wheat and the tares to his disciples.  And, although I don't know the timing of all the things that are supposed to happen at "the end of the world," this part seems kind of hopeful.  Not in that I want anyone to be burned, but usually when I think of the end of the world I think of people getting worse and worse and there being more wars and more evil until everything is overwhelmed and God has to end it.  But this isn't that way at all.  This sounds more like the parable of the olive trees, where God prunes them and digs about them and transplant branches until the good fruit returns.  Here, the tares are gathered and burned, and the wheat is left, until all the bad is gone, and only the good is left, and "the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." :)  That's remarkably cool.  And it really makes me want to be there, to see that day.  Imagining a world without evil... without anything that offends or does iniquity.   It sounds stunningly beautiful... and it also means that we need to purify our lives, so that we aren't tarish. :)  We need to be the wheat out there, the good guys.  The ones that belong, and are making things better.  It doesn't have to be instantaneous, of course... but it needs to happen.  So that someday we'll all be able to stand together and sing the beauty and the love and the joy of unity and peace and goodness.  ... Maybe that makes Zion sound a little bit like Who-ville, but you know... that's okay. :)  Whatever analogy it takes, let's run with it so that we can be there on that day, and shine like the sun in the presence of our God.

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