It’s amazing how Scripture comes to life as I look out the sliding glass door and see the development of weeds practically overnight. It perfectly illustrates the parable of the weeds in Matthew 13.
Why would Jesus use plant illustrations?
Because it is observable.
As I am preparing my seeds indoors for planting, weeds are blooming in the backyard. There are some seeds I directly sowed and I am hoping they would not be complete casualties, but it’s all in God’s hands. Just right where I sowed them, I already see silver slimy trails. Those slugs purposely never eat the yellow dandelion flowers. Instead, they choose to feast on what you plant.
This pear tree was established long before we moved here over four years ago. Year after year, it is graced with beautiful white flowers. Before this pear plant grew, someone made sure to protect it from pests to ensure it would mature to be planted where it is now. Some people have the role to simply sow the seeds and some have been given the role to ensure the seeds thrive.
This pear fruit is coming from the same flowering tree in the first two pictures. Ripe fruit will be expected by late September, God willing.
All those who belong to the Lord genuinely desire to bear good fruit. Jesus would not have told us, “by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:15-20) if spiritual fruit was not observable, both good and bad. Deliberate observation is a necessary process. Every person who does work in the garden has a way of tracking plant progress. In the Christian walk, it’s the same concept. Those who try to bypass the gradual process of sanctification will sooner or later find out that there is no such thing as cutting corners. Their spiritual standing will be evident in their doctrine and fruit. None of us can rush growth and maturity.
Only garden animals, insects and worms enjoy spoiled and rotten fruit. God made us above these creatures by giving us dominion over them,
“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.”
God cares for all people, but He is protective of those who truly belong to Him. Through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, we see all throughout Scripture the admonition to guard sound doctrine that has been taught to us.
“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”
1 Timothy 1:1-7
Jesus told us how to discern by way of observation.
“By their fruit you will know them.”
Do not be deceived.