36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the story of the poisonous weeds of the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who plants the good seed is the Son of Man.
38 The field is the world, but the good seed — these are the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one,
39 and the enemy who planted them is the devil. The harvest is the conclusion of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned up with fire, so will it be at the conclusion of the age.
41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,
42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the righteous ones will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him listen.
grace and hell
The story of the poisonous weeds is all about hell – the destruction of all evil at the conclusion of this age when Jesus returns. Yet it also reveals the wonderful grace of our Lord.
1. His grace to you, believer, because there is still so much of the old you in your life. It is sometimes difficult for even you to tell which is which. Trust in the grace of the one who planted you. He will see to it that you are in the right harvest – that you will outlast your doubts and difficulties.
2. His grace to you, sinner. You have rejected the maker of all life, yet he has decided to give you time. He has every right to rid this world of its imperfections, and you have no right to question him. Yet, every morning you wake to the same sunshine and joy. Do not take that grace for granted. This age of grace has a conclusion. Seek him while it may be found.
3. His grace even to those who will reject him. God’s goodness will not allow a blight in his future harvest. His eternity will not be populated by the same mix of evil and good that it presently contains. In his grace he will allow all the poisonous weeds to be burned up. On judgment day, many will weep in sorrow over the fact that they rejected the gospel. Many will gnash their teeth in anger at the God who is condemning them to permanent death. But even these will understand that there is no room for them in an eternity where righteousness alone lives.
LORD, thank you for the grace behind your promise to rescue us from hell, and thank you for the grace of hell itself – the solution for the problem of rebellious sin in this world.