By Angie Smith
Matthew’s Jewish audience would have most likely understood that Jesus meant the field of wheat to represent them, the nation of Israel. The weeds would make them think of the Gentiles – all the OTHER nations. But Jesus, as usual, forces his audience to think outside of their world view. The judgment in this parable isn’t just for the Gentiles, but for all people. In this text Jesus wants us to hear that we will all be judged equally. No one is privileged when it comes to God’s judgment. The righteous will be judged at the same time as the evildoers.
No one wants to think of themselves as an evildoer, but we all know that we sin. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking our sins aren’t as bad as someone else’s: “I only hoarded a cartful of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, I’m not as bad as the guy with a garage full of supplies that he can’t sell on Amazon.” Maybe you didn’t hoard anything at all, but like me you have been snarky about those who did. Perhaps in the moment one doesn’t seem as bad as the other, but when we are all judged, God will decide what is wheat to be kept in the barn and what is weeds to be burned.
We can’t earn our status as either wheat or weed, but we can do good in this time of uncertainty. We can call our friends, we can send snail mail, we can remember one another in prayer. I don’t know when we will see each other in person again, but we have been gathered by God through Jesus, and that is what truly matters now and always.