16th Sunday Ordinary Time – Let’s talk about Enemies, part I
There’s something going on in Matthew’s gospel that has to do with family. Just sayin’. And it has to do with this major parable. Of all things! Take what I offer here today with about a beaker of salt. It’s exploratory. Here’s the beginning of the parable:
He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away.
And here’s the last story immediately before chapter thirteen. Obviously, it has to do with Jesus’ family, right? It also concerns those who reject his mission and ministry and those who accept him. And it leads directly in to the Parable of the Sower.
While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, ‘Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’
Now, let’s look at several things Matthew connects to The Weeds & Wheat parable through the Greek word, echthros. Curiouser and Couriouser, said Alice!
Matthew 10:35f For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be members of one’s own household.
And then this:
Matthew 5:43–45 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.
And… “the enemy is the devil…” Yikes!!!
Is it conceivable that some of Jesus’ clan were scribes and Pharisees? Well, then, our usual thing would be to smash ’em!!! Hate ’em!!! But, love them?
This line of imagining seems to fit in with letting the wheat and weeds grow together until harvest. So… what is this saying to you?