I just learned that there is a plant that grows alongside wheat, looks almost like wheat but is deadly poisonous.
Did you know that wheat had a twin? Because I certainly didn’t. It’s amazing all that we can learn from reading the Bible.
I am learning that one of the best ways to interpret scripture is to consider the context of the culture of the people being taught or being written to. Learning what they already understood about the text can often give depth of insight to me as a Bible student, once I know what made the text culturally relevant.
Take the parable of the wheat and the tares for instance. See Matthew 13:24-30. In this text, Jesus is comparing an aspect of the Kingdom of Heaven to a plant, a tare or darnel as it’s often called today, which has at times, grown wildly and uninvited in a wheat field. The tare looks almost like wheat so as it grows, the untrained eye may not even know it’s there and because it looks just like wheat, removing it before it matures may harm the wheat crop. Nearly all of the Galileans listening to Jesus speak 2000 years ago understood farming enough to know what a tare was and how it could ruin a wheat crop if not removed. Not considering their perspective can often leave a “city slicker” like me “undernourished” in interpreting the text.
Later on in Matthew 13: 36-43, Jesus explains that the wheat in the parable is the sons of the Kingdom while tares are “sons of the wicked one”. Like the tare that resembles the wheat, a “son of the wicked one” can look and may even talk like a Christian. Jesus tells his audience that our heavenly Father will eventually remove the tares from the wheat at harvest time because while wheat turns a golden brown at harvest, tares turns black revealing the deadly fruit that they contains.
Like the tare, there are people in our world who talk a good talk and may actually seem sincere in their faith but in truth, they aren’t really committed to following Jesus. Judas certainly fit that profile in Jesus’ day.
As we trust our Father to lead us in this life, we can also trust him to “know the fruit” of the tare and protect his children from contamination until it’s time to remove the them altogether.
I think I’ll pass on the avocado toast. Don’t need the carbs.
Something to think about.