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On pulling weeds

July 26, 2011
By PASTOR ROGER LEMKE, Fishers Of Men Lutheran Church

We all love our flowers, shrubs and trees. However, pulling weeds is something else, that’s why I like to say: “A beautiful, weed-free garden comes only through the sweat on my frau.” And heavens to Betsy, we can’t believe our eyes, Jesus is just like us, He doesn’t like pulling weeds either. In Matthew 13:29-30, Jesus says: “Let the weeds stay, because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.”

Matthew’s parable tells us that there are some weeds among God’s wheat. Unfortunately, church members are apt to see themselves as ripe juicy mangos and everyone else as sour lemons. And so they say: “Pull those weeds out!” Of course, the irony is that in someone else’s garden they might not be a ripe juicy mango at all, but a weed.

A constant theme in Jesus’ teaching is that His followers are not to pass judgment on others. Very clearly Jesus gives the command: “Let the weeds stay!” because He knows that it is our pride and prejudice and our sense of right and wrong that is the basis for our weed-pulling.

Instead of pulling out the weeds in someone else’s field we need to remember that in the gardens of our lives we are all raising a good crop of weeds. Jane McCleek’s tombstone epitaph could be written on each of our grave markers. Her epitaph reads: “How sad the story of Jane McCleek. Her will was strong, but her won’t was weak.” God knows that the nature of each of us is to one day be a rose and the next a sand spur, therefore if you are going to do any weeding, weed your own dirt! Jesus knows that such weeds as “boasting, envy, deceit, strife, gossip and slander” are like crabgrass which can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms and about the only way to kill it probably involves nuclear weapons.

Jesus wants you to leave the weeds in others alone because He knows that with His love and His forgiveness a weed is like a dandelion just a vegetable with concealed potential. As a boy, I used to pick dandelions and my grandma made wonderful dandelion wine and sumptuous dandelion greens. We never thought of dandelions as weeds. God knows that unlike a flower garden, the gardens of life sprinkled with His living water have the potential to turn a weed into a beautiful flower and an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.

Just think what God did with that scardy-cat, take my sister who’s really my wife, weed named Abraham. Or just think what God did with that skirt-chasing, husband-killing weed named King David. If God can do that for Abraham and David, just think what he can do with you. Jesus reminds us: “God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields and He will surly do even more for you. Taking your weed-filled dirt and molding it into a glorious body like unto His” (Matt. 6:30, Phil 3:21).


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