Good Shepherd Lutheran

The Dandelion Paradox – Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Do you know what a rosebush is called if it’s growing in the middle of a wheat field? That’s right. It’s a weed. Imagine my delight when as a child who often had to weed the flowerbeds, I learned in Sunday school about the ‘Parable of the Weeds’.
I went straight home and told my mother that I didn’t need to weed the flowerbeds anymore. She asked me why and I told her that Jesus said that it was a bad thing to pull out the weeds. I don’t remember my mother’s response, but I do know that it wasn’t long before I found myself out in the flowerbeds again pulling weeds. But not the dandelions. I never got the whole root, so Mom and Dad took that duty. Still, I grew up thinking that a dandelion was nothing but a useless weed that nobody really wanted around.
Well, imagine my surprise when years later I learned that there are people in the world who don’t view dandelions as weeds at all. They think they’re vegetables. They call them ‘greens’. I’ve only eaten them a few times in very expensive salads, which is ironic because you’d think the last place you’d find weeds is in an expensive salad. But I guess it’s all in your point of view. Some folks even cook them. But I’m just not much of a cooked greens fan. Especially not if my husband has been trying to eradicate them with weed and feed.
But that’s the paradox. It’s all the same plant. But to some people It’s a weed, while to other folks it’s a vegetable. So, should we weed it out of the yard, or should we pick off the baby leaves and toss them in our salad bowl? It’s hard to tell the weeds from the valuable plants.
Jesus agrees. In the ‘Parable of the Weeds’ He is trying to teach is that judging who’s wheat and who’s a weed isn’t our job. We need to leave that to Him. So, instead of judging those around us, He orders us to put our energy elsewhere. The challenge for us is to become good wheat, instead of being obsessed with trashing the weeds.
The truth is when we try to pull the weeds out from among the wheat, we end up pulling out almost as much wheat as we do weeds. And the worst part is that by doing that, we end up hurting others.
When we let the grass — or the wheat — grow we don’t have to worry as much about the dandelion paradox. We don’t have to worry whether what’s growing next to us is a weed or a vegetable, because the good plants will eventually surround us.
Yes, weeds will be part of the world, but when some of them see the vitality of the wheat that comes through life in Jesus Christ, they just might decide to become wheat, too.