The Gospel of Matthew

This devotional is written by Helen Augustin. Helen Vance has been at St Mary's for over ten years, works as an Arts Psychotherapist and Artist, and is married to Joey. She is a constant re-arranger of furniture.

Matthew 13:24-43

The Parable of the Weeds

 24 Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

28 "'An enemy did this,' he replied.

"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

29 "'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

 31 He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches."

33 He told them still another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough."

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

"I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."

The Parable of the Weeds Explained 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."

37 He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.


Our human anxiety means we can get obsessed with verifying information and answers. When I've forgotten something, or don't know something, or when I doubt my own knowledge I end up googling it. From this same anxious place can come a deep suspicion of the poetic, the prophetic or anything which does not constitute 'a fact.' But Jesus chose to speak through metaphor. "He said nothing to them without a parable." This is significant. He said, "Let those who have ears hear."

In my work as an arts psychotherapist I work with metaphor as the main tool of healing. Patients are usually resistant at first. Often they ask, "How can you prove you are dealing with the problem? This seems like child's play, not serious enough a method to deal with my serious condition. How do we know we are talking about the same thing?" These are good questions but they entirely avoid involvement in the process. They want answers before any active engagement. But the reality is when we start out nothing is certain.

The human psyche is wired for images and narratives. Not literal images but inner ones. God created our human psyche and Jesus engaged with us through image and story. We may not understand a word or image, prophecy or parable immediately but we have the ability to chew it over for a long time. It has the potential to develop over time and grow with our changing understanding. Just like the mustard seed, it can grow from something tiny to something huge. We may need to keep coming back to God with questions. God loves this intimacy with Him, this connective thread between us, between the now and the not-yet. This is the stuff of the Kingdom of Heaven!

No Comments