This morning, the boys and I read and talked about the Parable of the Weeds. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Jesus speaks on a Parable where a man sows good seed in a field, and an enemy comes in the night and sows weeds into the field. When it started growing, the servants noticed the weeds growing alongside the wheat, and wanted to pull the tares up. The Master, wisely, suggested letting them grow together, as pulling up the weeds might uproot the wheat. When harvest comes, they will be separated, and the wheat will be gathered, while the weeds will be burned. At first, I thought “which one am I?” And I think it's a valid concern. We should always question our motives before God. Yet the point is that, even in the church, weeds will sprout up to try and disrupt the growth of believers. The wheat, even with weeds surrounding it, however, grew up healthy and harvestable. And so the boys and I talked about it: who you let influence you matters.
Jesus said, “I am the vine, my father is the vine dresser and you are the branches.” He desires us to bear good fruit, and whoever does not is cut off and thrown into the fire. We only bear fruit as we abide in Christ. That word “abide” is not one we use much, but, essentially, it means we live within. A branch’s job is to stay rooted to the vine. It remains healthy as it is nourished by the vine. The Wheat grows healthy as it gains its nourishment from the soil it is planted it. We’re to stay rooted in Christ Jesus. We stay grounded as we’re in His word, seek Him out in prayer, and seek to follow His example. We should compare those we let influence us to the Scriptures, so that we know who is of Christ and who is of the world. The influences we have will pull us toward God, or draw us away. Pay close attention.
He put another parable before them, saying, “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 weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this. So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.