“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping his enemy came and sowed tares (a weed resembling wheat) among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.”

— Matthew 13:24-26

I love spring. When the daffodils and crocus peek their heads out of the soil I know it is time to shape up the flower beds and get ready to plant the vegetable garden.

And every gardener knows that no matter how diligent one is in preparing the soil and planting only good seed eventually there will be some weeds also.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox said, “A weed is but an unloved flower.” I will take strong exception to Ms. Wilcox’s statement. I have more than 90 different variety of daylily. For the past two weeks I have been aggressively removing those “unloved flowers.”

A friend once asked me how he could tell a good plant from a weed. I said, “Pull everything up and what grows back is a weed!”

Any gardener knows that there are some plants that are invasive. An invasive plant is one that, left unchecked, eventually takes over the area.

Matthew, chapter 13, contains two different parables about sowers and good seed versus weeds. Only Jesus could take something as simple and common as weeds and teach us profound truths about God’s kingdom.

One point Jesus is making is that we need to beware of weeds in our lives. Spiritual weeds are invasive. Every day Satan is scheming about how to plant some type of invasive weed into our life so that we will become unfruitful for God’s kingdom. It may be the cares of the world. It may be the danger of riches, unfaithfulness, or ungodly characteristics in our life such as anger, hatred or strife.

This parable has two sowers and two different kinds of seeds. And the second is sneaky and it will take a while before anyone notices.

By then it could be too late. At the harvest time the wheat will be separated from the weeds and the weeds burned up.

Ephesians 2:10 says God has created us for good works.

He wants to bear good fruit through us. Take your thought life for example. If you fail to sow good thoughts in your mind, the weeds of evil thoughts will take root and eventually they will take up all the space and not let good thoughts flourish.

The field in the parable is the world. The two sowers are Jesus and Satan. The two seeds are the good seed and weed seed.

The harvest is at the end of the age. At that time God will weed out of His kingdom all evil and sin (Revelation 21:23-27). Unbelievers will be punished for their sin just as the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire. The righteous will enter the glorious kingdom of the Lord God (Revelation 22:3-5).

A good gardener knows that in order to get rid of a weed you can’t just pull part of it up. You must also remove all of the roots. That is also true of invasive weeds in one’s life. How is that accomplished?

It begins when we repent of our sins and believe the gospel. As it states in Acts 2:37-38, confess your faith in Jesus as Lord and be immersed into Him. Then feed on God’s word and fellowship with His people for spiritual growth and weed prevention. Don’t let habits, hobbies or character traits that come in from the world stay long enough to take root.

I hope you are having a fruitful garden.

Just as I like sharing the gospel, I also like sharing my day-lilies.

Emmett Murphy is a retired Christian church minister. He can be reached at epreach@aol.com.