Matthew 13:24-30, 34-43 – Life is Like An Excel Spreadsheet!

Posted: December 22, 2015 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 13:24-30, 34-43
The Parable of The Weeds & Its Explanation

There are those a-ha moments in life. When you finally get it! Something that seemed a mystery to you before now seems clear.

As an accountant in my secular profession for the past 30 years, I am the king of spreadsheets. I can construct multiple tabbed spreadsheets linked together with complex formulas such that you can drop data in the main spreadsheet of a workbook and have it be drawn into reports that are beautifully designed because of all the formulas and links that I build. I love a good spreadsheet. Yes, I am spreadsheet geek. Few things make me more satisfied as when my complex spreadsheets work on the first try. However, there are times when I have built a complex workbook with interlocking spreadsheet tabs where the result is wrong and I must figure out my mistake. When you are an accountant and you work on a spreadsheet and you wonder why you can’t get the data to balance with what you know the total should be and you get frustrated and walk away. After letting the spreadsheet sit for a while, you come back to it and you figure out your mistake almost immediately. What you could not see before, became immediately clear. You, then, feel so foolish for having spent hours not seeing the hour and now you found it almost immediately. Here, Jesus speaks in a parable that at first does not seem clear, but when He explains it, the meaning is so obvious that you feel foolish for not having seen the answer right away. Here, in this passage, there is the parable, Matthew 13:24-30, and there is its explanation, Matthew 34-43. When Jesus explains the parable in vv. 34-43, it is like that a-ha moment as an accountant when you figure out your formula error that was ruining your spreadsheet and you kick yourself for not seeing it before. Sometimes though, you can’t figure out the error because there’s a time limit, a deadline that you must meet, and you have to give up on it and start over.

Jesus makes it clear here that it is only because of God’s Sovereign Patience that evil is allowed to exist in the world. His Sovereign Patience allows evil to exist only to allow Christ followers to flourish and produce disciples. His Sovereign Patience is only to allow time for people to turn to God. In the end, though, God’s Sovereign Patience will come to an end. There is an end to our time here on earth and there will be an end to the earth when His patience is complete and the game is up. There is a deadline for making this spreadsheet we call life work. Greater still, this collection of multiple spreadsheets into a workbook that we call the earth will meet up against this deadline. There will be judgment for us all as individual spreadsheets and for the entire workbook. There will be judgment for each one of us and for all collectively at the end of the age. Let’s read through God’s Word and see what Jesus has to say,

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

….

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
What becomes clear and evident when you examine this parable and its explanation is that is only because God allows it to exist so as not to destroy his fruit-bearing disciples. Evil exists only so as to allow those that are Christ followers to flourish while they are here. In His Sovereignty, God could easily scrap this spreadsheet and create a new one right now that has all its formula problems fixed. This world is a faulty spreadsheet with critical formula errors that we have created not because God created it that way but rather because of user error. We have made our spreadsheet faulty from the beginning. We decided almost from the beginning to take shortcuts in creating this spreadsheet called life. From the beginning, we listened to Satan say to us that instead of obeying the rules set down by God for our own good that we know better. It is like taking a shortcut in creating a spreadsheet when you know you need to go through the hard work of creating the necessary formulae to make the whole spreadsheet workbook to work together properly. One flaw introduced in a spreadsheet workbook can bring the whole thing crashing down. Our world is that flawed formula in the spreadsheet. The whole thing has gotten screwed up and the result can be traced back to the beginning where the flaw of sin was introduced. Evil exists because we messed with God’s perfect formula. In God’s spreadsheet workbook, everything worked together because of His Sovereign design. We messed it by tinkering with the formulas even when He told us not to. Evil exists because of us listening to Satan. However, evil exists only to allow those who produce fruit in this life to do what they are planted to do. God has his people here who obey Him because of their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior and through the action of the Holy Spirit in their lives. We are those good plants that produce the good fruit. We are here to be God’s representatives here on earth. We are to carry the banner. We are to be the examples of what can be in a life fully devoted to God. We are to be the city on the hill. We are to be the light. We are to be the salt of the earth. We are here to spread the Word of the kingdom.

The existence of those that shake their fist at God is only because God is patient and willing to allow them time to turn to God. If God wanted to give no second chances, He could end this thing right now. He has not yet. He wants to give people every opportunity to turn to Him. In His Sovereignty and in His parental love for his rebellious children, He wants to give us the time to turn to Him. He wants us to see that our spreadsheets have formula flaws on our own. He wants us to admit that there is the flaw in the spreadsheet that is making it not work for us. He wants us to admit that there is a flaw in our formulas of our spreadsheet and seek His help in restoring the formula that God had originally designed into our spreadsheet. God could just trash our spreadsheet and start over. He could delete our file. He could trash it. But He is a loving God who wants to give us every opportunity to turn to Him. But there is a deadline that He in His Sovereignty that only He knows that will come. There will be a time where the searching for the correction to the formula in the spreadsheet will no longer be tolerated. There will be time when the deadline hits.

There is a time limit and the reality that is hell will be made clear to us. Jesus says that there will be judgment. At the end of our lives or the end of the earth, Jesus is telling us here that there is a hell. It is real. Jesus talks about hell as much as He does about heaven. Jesus says hell is real. He is giving us time to find the flaw in our formula but there is a limit. We do not have forever. Let us not be deluded into listening to Satan who says that you can circumvent God’s Word and still reach heaven. Satan tells us nowadays that God’s Word and His design that is ageless and timeless is no longer valid. He tells us that we do not have to obey parts of God’s Word because it no longer socially relevant. What was once sin is no longer sin, according to us. We have redesigned the formulas to say that has been against God’s Word forever is no longer a sin. We have justified sin as acceptable by changing the formula of our spreadsheet that was designed by the original Creator of the spreadsheet. We pat ourselves on the back because we found a way to take a shortcut around the original design. However, the Timeless One designed this spreadsheet. It is His spreadsheet and He will say one day that you can no longer play with the formulas. You will be judged on your obedience to His Word. We will be judged as to whether we trusted His formula or created one of our own. Time will be up for us to accept the original design. Hell is real. Jesus said so. Where do you stand? Have you changed the formula and your spreadsheet keeps producing faulty results. How is that working for you? Time is running out. Seek out the Original Designer and ask Him to restore His formula to your life. Seek God. Obey God. Time is running out. The deadline for fixing your spreadsheet problems is approaching.

Amen and Amen.

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