In the “Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30) Jesus gives us His view of His disciples and of the church. They are a mix bag! Among His disciples and in the church are both weeds and wheat. Sometimes the disciples are wheat as when Jesus calls Peter “Rock” after he confesses that Jesus is Messiah, the Son of God. Sometimes the disciples are weeds as when Jesus calls Peter “Satan” for refusing to accept a suffering messiah (Matthew 16:13-23).
Like those first disciples so the church is made up of both weeds and wheat. Throughout the ages and into our own day we are a church of saints and sinners, wheat and weeds. Jesus wants both weeds and wheat to grow together. We are to exclude no one, to judge no one, and to condemn no one. The Judge is Jesus, the Son of Man. But this separation and judgement will not come until the end of the age:
“The harvest is the end of the age… Just as 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…”
Some days we are wheat and some days we are weeds. Let us strive to be wheat each day by following Jesus’ way of welcome and compassion. Jesus challenges hypocrisy in the church:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged…. Why do you notice the splinter in your neighbor’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your neighbor’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5).