Todays readings.. 1 Samuel 25, Jeremiah 2, Matthew 13
Today’s 13th chapter of Matthew contains 6 parables of Jesus and at the end of the last one Jesus says, “so it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [v.49,50] The parables are symbolic stories, thus the “fiery furnace” is a symbol of the end of existence for some – and really – in the end, as God sees things, there are only two classes of people! We read in yesterday’s chapter that Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me.” [v.30]
Each of the parables in their own way teach the same lesson – that a choice is put before all men and women and “at the close of the age” there will be a time when God will make a decision about the future of everyone. The best known parable is that of the sower sowing seed and the different types of soil (i.e. hearts) into which it (his message) fell and how that seed grew – or didn’t! Another parable is of the wheat and weeds growing together and no action is made to pull out the weeds until harvest time.
It is becoming more and more evident that harvest time must be near – although it comes for everyone when they die! The harvest time, said Jesus, in explaining the meaning of the parable, is the time when “The son of man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” [v.41-43]
In these days we could add to that saying – those who have eyes to read let them read – and having read – may they, as a result, live their lives in ways that will please the sower.