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Beautiful Words Blog | Weeds By Pastor John Moropoulos | Gateway Christian Fellowship

June 28, 2024

Text: Matthew 13.40 “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.”

Thesis: There really is a difference.

I will never forget the first time I heard my wife say, “I love mowing the grass.” My first thought was that I had not heard her correctly. I asked her to repeat and she said it again. I panicked. Clearly, the demands of ministry had taken their toll. How could anyone love to mow the lawn?

My wife quickly explained that mowing the lawn meant having a lawn and it was therefore a cause for celebration. That was revelatory. I had never appreciated the wonderful green grass that grew in front of and behind our home, as well as most every other house in our neighborhood. That’s the difference between growing up in Alaska as my wife did and in southern California as I did.

For me the very idea of mowing the lawn was painful. It was a complete interruption of what should be a quiet, restful Saturday. But that wasn’t the worst of it. The grass was a problem but the weeds were an outright curse.

“Sweetheart, I’d like you to weed the front flowerbeds today,” my mother would say. First off, don’t call me “sweetheart” and then ask me to pull weeds in the same sentence. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not that I was a spoiled, ungrateful child (my wife has suggested something to that effect). It’s just that pulling weeds is difficult and boring. Moreover, it struck me as being a terrible injustice.

Seriously. It is horribly unfair to label one particular plant a weed and another a lovely, desirable flower. The weeds I pulled (to be honest it wasn’t that often) had flowers, or at least would have had I not interrupted their life span. As I struggled to pull the whole weed, root and all (I had been thoroughly instructed. To this day to pull a dandelion and leave the root sends a sense of failure through my being), I would think. “This plant is green, healthy, and growing. It has a flower just like Mom’s roses have flowers. These flowers aren’t as big or showy as the roses but they are flowers.”

The whole thing struck me as somewhat bigoted.

Then I noticed something. Mom’s roses smelled incredible. Our pet tortoise, Elmer, even loved to eat their petals. Our beagle loved to sleep in their shade. They were both lovely and useful. The weeds I pulled were somewhat attractive, for a short while. But otherwise, they were a pain. They even got kind of stinky toward the end.

My Mother was right. They needed to be removed. And there really is a difference between weeds and flowers, despite the limited similarities.

In Matthew 13.40 Jesus is recorded as saying, “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.”

The tares were ζιζάνια, zizania. They were a grain that, when young, could easily be mistaken for wheat. They even had limited food value. But they were certainly not what any farmer wanted growing in his field. So in multiple passages in the New Testament they are used as a type of false believer. They look like the real thing but they aren’t.

There are some earmarks of a genuine believer. They include a heart repentant of sin,

compassionate for the lost, desirous to worship our Savior, and longing for His return.

So let’s take a moment to check ourselves. Am I adding something of beauty, of usefulness to His kingdom, His church, this dwelling in which He delights? Does my life give evidence of something attractive or do I bear a greater resemblance to a stinkweed?

I have a lot to do about which of the two I am.


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