We had a conversation that expanded more on the parables in Matthew 13. First focussing on the catholicity, the universality of the work that Father is doing in us through Jesus by the Holy Spirit. For example, the seed being scattered across a field with the farmer representing Jesus, the seed the Kingdom of Heaven and the field being the whole world in all its different states. The key thing to remember in reading that parable is the fact that we have been taught wrongly about the different meanings. We assumed these were pre-salvation states that hinder entrance into relationship with God. But in all cases, there is growth.
In the case of the birds eating the seed, think about how poison ivy suddenly appears in a part of your garden where it wasn’t last year. In most cases, the birds move the seed from one place to another by pooping out the seed they’ve eaten. In the case of the rocky soil, there is still growth. Then, of course, the “good” soil. But in all cases, there was growth. How it happens is by the mystery of grace.
In the second parable there is the wheat and tares. Again, the seed is sewn in a field. The “bad” seed planted by the enemy was of a type that was indistinguishable from wheat except by the expert eye of the farmer. It’s one of the reasons that the farmer tells the workers, who are not experts, NOT to pull up the tares. They don’t have the expertise necessary to tell the difference. No, wait until the harvest and THEN the separating will be done. But one thing it does not tell us: what is the ratio of wheat to tares? How much wheat is there versus how much tare? It is the farmer who will make the final decision of how much fruit has been borne, how much wheat and how much tares. The tares, it says will be tied in bundles and burned. But we’ll come back to that.
Then there is the mystery of the mustard seed. The kingdom is like the mustard seed in that it starts off small and is hidden in the field (there’s that metaphor again) where it is indistinguishable in its surroundings. Its transformation is a mystery and doesn’t really become evident until much later. But when it grows, it becomes beneficial to man, beast and bird alike. Oh, and there are the birds again. Repetitive metaphors. Hmmmmm…….
Finally, and I love this one, there is the parable of the woman making bread. 1) it is a woman, the true Proverbs 31 woman, 2) there is 100 lbs of bread dough here, 3) there is yeast, 4) we know that you can make lots of bread out of 100 lbs of dough, another metaphor for the whole world 5) there is the kneading of the dough, the pounding and breaking down of the gluten (unless you’re gluten-free) to create the cells in which the CO2 created by the imperceptible yeast, much as we are broken down and made more capable of holding the Breath of Eternal Life – the Holy Spirit, inseparable yeast hidden in the dough. 6) the little loaves are mirrors of the Bread of Life, 7) the yeast is the Kingdom hidden in the dough, 8) But one thing is missing from this recipe. Can you figure it out? What is still missing from this one sentence parable of the Kingdom?
In order to bake anything you must have heat. In the old days, you created heat with whatever fuel you had around: Sometimes sticks, sometimes dung, and sometimes…. wait for it….. the chaff from the grain harvest. Hmmm…. where did we see that? In the parable of the Wheat and Tares. The farmer burns up the chaff after separating the wheat which he ground up (more metaphors of our transformation) to make flour into which he placed the yeast of the Kingdom and he used even the chaff to help bake us into little Jesus loaves. All his work. None of our.
A few final ideas to hand out as we look at this: 1) Everything mentioned brought about growth and transformation for the Kingdom: Birds, seeds, chaff. 2) Only the One will tell us what is profitable and what isn’t; what is wheat and what is tare, and 3) All of it is his work: He is the farmer, he does the sewing of the seed; He is the woman making bread, he puts the yeast in the lump, he kneads it and molds it, cuts it, forms it and then bakes it to create the bread. We just lie there like a lump. We are the dirt (Gen 2:7) into which the Farmer puts his seed, again we just lie there. He can use both the wheat and the tare in us to bring glory to the kingdom and himself.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this for discussion’s sake. I will probably repost this in my GCI Grace group, too.
My house Sunday, 1 PM. We will put off Rave until the following week since we haven’t seen each other for awhile. The kids will be making protein balls for our enjoyment. Tami has the recipe. Maybe we can all chip in to add to the ingredients. I’m anxious to learn how to make them. They sound great!