The Dividing

Read Matthew 13:24-30

Watching people in public spaces can be a creative activity. Recently, I attended a community event which drew large crowds of people together. Having arrived at my assigned seat early, I had plenty of time to watch people move around the area. When given such an opportunity, I observe behaviors, clothing choices, interactions and expressions. From these observations I create scenarios in my mind regarding backgrounds, life  choices, and plans. This is a creative endeavor which creates a character profile with no factual information except for what I see during a brief encounter. Such an activity is a mental game which passes time but should never be seen as accurate in any fashion. It is more of a story telling exercise.

Jesus was a very effective storyteller. He would use stories, or parables, to communicate a complex concept. His stories made these concepts relatable to a person’s life. Our passage today is one of those times when Jesus tells a story. This story was intended to address the world situation where good and bad co-exist. Jesus also addresses how this will be sorted out. In the story we see recognition of the fact that good and bad stand side by side. Jesus tells the listener that the dividing of the two will occur at a later time, not now. In addition to the timing, the story also communicates that it is not our responsibility to do the sorting but when it is time the task will be assigned.

Back to my creative people watching, while I may use the determining of a person’s scenario as a time-occupying game, there are some who observe and make judgments about a person’s life in a serious manner. It is true that individuals who are called to be law enforcement officers and judges do this as a duty to society. They also operate within parameters and an indepth investigation of the facts. Jesus reminds us that we are not the ones who are to choose who is allowed to stay and who is to go. This will be determined by the Lord at a later time. Instead, we are to live together in harmony with one another. Let God worry about the dividing of the grain and the weeds.  God sees the whole situation, we do not.

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