The Parable of Discernment

(audio sermon by Gary Sampson)

The parable of the weeds gives us wisdom for discerning between believer and unbeliever. But it helps to discern in other vital areas too.

Speakers notes follow –

Parable of Discernment (Weeds)

Mt 13.24-30,36-43

Member stole offering – other churches – real Christian?

Parable a lesson in discernment – time reveals who is who

Told to crowd not disciples – opposition from leaders + family

Act of bioterrorism – Darnel lookalike in early stages – wheat has heads of grain – has fruit

Jesus explains: farmer is Son of Man – seed is people of kingdom – field is world – weeds evil people sown by devil – harvest is end of age

Two points from text –

1. Difference – Real and Counterfeit

Darnel and Wheat Iook same – longterm different results

Judas – seemed follower early on – started to steaI – betrayed kiss (growth)

‘Not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Mt 7.21) – perhaps he had Judas in mind

Nicodemus – seemed opposition – defended Jesus – laid body tomb -undercover believer

Army – not ashamed – carried Bible – magnetic guy arrived – didnt judge – discussed girls, parties – then declared ‘Believer’ – I felt like Chinese plastic!

With time Judas + Nicodemus displayed their real fruit

2. Delayed judgement

Servant zealous to pull up weeds – as James + John calling for fire

Jesus doesn’t want to uproot wheat – judge unbeliever with believer . Abraham ‘what if there are ten righteous in the city’

New believers can look like weeds – Magdalene/Matthew/Zaccheus

Peter denied Jesus three times – surely that deserves a red card? God sees heart – we quick to judge

Knowing my own failures I’m glad he is merciful – only the self righteous want to call down fire

Jesus does not remove opposition at first coming – why Vineyard says kingdom now but not yet – no more tears, sickness, demons, persecution

End times – World worse + Church better – persecution will purify – Wheat + Weeds will be very different

Three points – what this all teaches us for now –

Take time to know people – time reveals

1. Church Ministry – People offer themselves, gifts – I tell them to take time to know us

‘Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands’ (1 Ti 5.22) – appoint leaders

People insist on a guest speaker – get to know them first – no matter how gifted or popular

Popular Christian comedian I enjoyed had lied about testimony – he had preached to thousands – do not be hasty

2. Selecting Partner – young people – don’t be hasty laying hands!

Friends first – no touching – it’s bonding – know verbally first – maybe not a Christian as thought, maybe loose, maybe bad habits

‘There does seem to be a huge difference between how Isaac and Esau chose a wife. For Isaac, so many prayers and guiding signs went into finding this woman of faith, whereas Esau seems to have chosen unwisely. It was ‘a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah’ – Pippa Gumbl

3. God looks at heart – so should we

Waitresses ‘In Jesus name’ – mocking – biggest indicator isn’t moral behaviour but heart – do they love Jesus

As immature Protestant I assumed all Catholics unsaved – they said so – then met ones with real love for Jesus, fruit of Spirit – isn’t doctrine – but heart

Parable of Weeds – God takes time – lets everyone show their true colours – lets hearts become apparent – wisdom requires we do the same

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