Wheat or Weeds

Get Revenge Against An Enemy By Using Weed Seeds

When Ed called yesterday, the wife talked to him as I was painting a cupboard door on the balcony. My old neighbor was laughing at my expense, as my wife informed Ed, that I was being cheap and stripping kitchen cupboard doors, and repainting them a new color to save money. My wife told Ed that of course she has a wait and see attitude. If the doors do not take on new life with the new paint, I will have to replace the doors. My newly painted doors better look good or else they are getting discarded with their new paint on them.

Ed had heard there was more than painting going on our way. He had heard of three stabbings in downtown Chilliwack. He wanted to know if they were gang related.  The wife told him that sometimes they are, and sometimes they are drug related. She informed Ed, that crime and murder are common in our neighborhood. She said that here in BC, folks get even or take revenge way too seriously. They use guns and knives to even a score, and it becomes deadly quickly.   

I regretted that I did not have a chance to talk with Ed. I wanted to tell him about some interesting research I did recently about a vicious way people had in ancient times for getting revenge on an enemy. Jesus refers to it in one of his parables. He refers to a man in a parable who sowed good wheat seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping his enemy came and sowed weeds among his wheat seed and went away. The word used for weeds is, ‘darnel,’ a weed that looks very much like wheat in its infancy but becomes apparent when it comes out in a head. His servants in Jesus’ parable asked if the man, their master, had sown good seed because the wheat had lots of weeds. The man said that an enemy had planted weeds in his wheat. Planting darnel in an enemy’s field was a common way of getting revenge. It was so common in fact that a Roman law was made forbidding the sowing of weeds in another’s field.

Although similar in size to wheat seeds, the seeds of darnel will turn black and are poisonous to both humans and livestock. If you tried to pull out the darnel when it was growing in your field, you would destroy the wheat beside it. At harvest time, the darnel had to be carefully harvested first, bundled up and burned so that none of the poisonous seeds would get mixed in with the wheat seed. Planting darnel was a destructive to an enemy’s wheat crop.

In his parable, Jesus was showing that he sowed good seed in the world, and the good seed are the sons of his kingdom. The devil sowed his seed among the seed of Jesus. The sons of the devil grow beside the sons of the kingdom. Who is good and who is not will become evident when Jesus returns and separates those who are his and those who belong to the devil. The good will go to glory with Jesus, and the evil ones will go to the fiery furnace. (See Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43)

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Raymond Maher
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