LIVING WATERS LUTHERAN CHURCH - INTERACTIVE BIBLE STUDY
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It is an age-old question: why is there evil in the world? In the parable of the wheat and the weeds Jesus suggests that both grow together until the harvest. With Paul, we long for the day that all creation will be set free from bondage and suffering. Having both weeds and wheat within us, we humbly place our hope in the promises of God, and from the Lord’s table we go forth to bear the fruit of justice and mercy.
Prayer of the Day
Faithful God, most merciful judge, you care for your children with firmness and compassion. By your Spirit nurture us who live in your kingdom, that we may be rooted in the way of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Jesus tells a parable about the coexistence of good and evil in this world. God’s judgment will remove all evildoers and causes of sin, but not until the end of human history.
24[Jesus] put before [the crowds] another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field;25but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. 26So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. 27And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ 28He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. 30Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’?”
36Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”
- How are the servants wrong as to the source of the evil in the field? Is this blaming the master?
- Why would rooting out evil weeds in your congregation so strongly affect the good plants?
- For the crowd, how does the parable of the weeds among the wheat extend the meaning of the parable of the sower? (Matthew 13:1-9)
- For the disciples, how does the interpretation of the weeds among the wheat expand the interpretation of the parable of the sower (13:18-23)?
First Reading: Isaiah 44:6-8
There are no other gods besides God: the word of the Lord does not fail to come to pass. We can trust in God, through whom Israel—and we—are redeemed.
6Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
7Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
Let them tell us what is yet to be.
8Do not fear, or be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
There is no other rock; I know not one.
- The title “Redeemer” in verse 6 translates one of several words for this concept of God. Read Leviticus 25:23-54. What does “redemption” entail? What has God done to deserve this title?
- What attitude does God display against the idols in 44:9-20? What happens to those who worship idols?
- God’s redemption occurred before the people returned from exile to their homes in Israel. What does this say about God?
- What does it mean to be “God’s witnesses”? Have you ever been God’s witnesses in the legal sense of this lesson? Does God need witnesses today? Why or why not?
SING: ELW 670
Build us up, Lord, build us up; let our lives reflect your glory.
Cast away all our doubts and fears; help us tell the world your story.
Build us up, Lord, build us up; help us bear good fruit for you.
Lord, give us vision and keep us sure.
Grant us faith that’s steadfast and true.
Growing in Christ, we plant seeds for the kingdom.
We follow in faith what’s begun!
Lord set in our hearts the pow’r of your word to spread the news of your Son.