Tag Archives: Wheat

Human imperceptibility – the sign of God’s greatness

John expects… anticipates…

For John what is about to unfold – God in Jesus – is decisive.

John’s Jesus clearly carries a threat.

“Brood of vipers, who warned you to fly from the retribution that is coming?”

“Even now the axe is laid to the tree so that any tree which fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire.”🔥

“His winnowing fan is in his hand, he will clear his threshing floor…”

So how did this threat unfold in real life back then?

How did this “retribution” as John calls it unfold?

How was the tree cut down and thrown on the fire? Bearing in mind that we’re not really talking about a tree but about real people whom the tree represents – a people to be cut down and thrown on the fire.

How was the wheat separated from the chaff in the lived experience of the people back then? In their history?

I’d say they hardly noticed it happening or that it had happened… and that’s my point!

So, while the language and the images are strong, at times scathing, the threat unfolded in the lives of the people very gently, almost imperceptibly.

In fact it was so gentle that many probably didn’t even realize that it had happened!

This human imperceptibility is one of the signs of God’s greatness.

What happened was that they missed the significance of Jesus… they didn’t connect with him… they didn’t grasp his identity. He went over their heads so to speak.

They just went on doing what they had always been doing.

And in so many places… spaces… hearts and minds… the same pattern will reemerge this coming Christmas.

But God will have been and gone!

Indeed, the kingdom of God is always close at hand.

Finally… empty pews and empty churches – a sign of the death of religion or a people being cut down and thrown on the fire?

Do you really think that God is no longer active?

There’s only one response to that 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

Sixteenth Sunday Year A: What good is anything if you’ve nowhere to go?

IMG_1479God in his essence is simple. He’s clouded in mystery and we mistake the mystery for difficulty but God is not difficult… as the parables reveal.

The kingdom of God on earth may be compared to a field of wheat and weeds…

This is a very startling way to describe the kingdom of God on earth.

We think there shouldn’t be any weeds in the Church, never mind the kingdom of God!

Yet here, two thousand years ago, Christ tells us what his kingdom on earth looks like… a field of wheat and weeds.

Would you have used such an image to describe the kingdom of God? I don’t think you would. We’re very good at imposing our kingdom on God’s kingdom! It doesn’t work.

Here’s another question: If we’re willing to disassociate ourselves from the Church because of the presence of weeds then how can we possibly know anything of the kingdom of God as understood by Jesus – anything of this kingdom?

Two thousand years have come and gone and we still haven’t understood this.

He makes an interesting observation about the danger of weeding out the weeds – some of the wheat will come with it. It happens – to this day.

Most interesting though is his assertion that at harvest time it’ll be sorted.

Here Jesus indicates – as he often did – that there is ultimate justice.

This means that there is no future in a life of sin.

It means there is no such thing as ‘getting away with it’ – ‘getting away with it’ is temporary, a short reprieve, like the weeds growing with the wheat until harvest time.

It means there is no future in dishonesty, fraud, theft, murder…

It means that if you’ve been successful by immoral means then you have no future… except to put right the wrong you’ve done. You are nothing more than a weed waiting for harvest time!

As Jesus asked elsewhere; what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his very soul?

What good is anything if you have nowhere to go?

Mercy is about turning weeds into wheat. It’s never about leaving weeds unchanged!

God in his essence is really very simple… if we’d only listen to the parables and stop imposing our kingdom on God’s kingdom!