Harvest parables: wheat and tares

wheatCommentary. Although our gospel text does not seem to indicate the audience, v.34 (All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables) does make it clear that the hearers are not the disciples alone, but that the crowd is again and active participant. Given the disciples’ question: “Why do you speak to them in parables?” (v.10) and the fact that Jesus is again speaking in parables, it is clear that a larger audience is present.

Weeds Among the Wheat. This parable is unique to Matthew and unlike the other evangelists who also tell a pericope of the “Sower and the Seed,” Matthew’s use and placement of this unique parable seems to serve as a reinforcement of the themes of on-going conversion (understanding, action, joy, perseverance in suffering brought about by tribulation or persecution, and ultimately bearing fruit superabundantly. The context of the parable is clearly “in the world” that place where anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit (v.22). Continue reading

The harshest words

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!” (Mt 11:20)

The opposition to Jesus’ ministry is beginning to grow. People are pushing back, asking for more signs, accusing Jesus of being in league with Satan, holding back refusing to believe, and all manner of other things. The division Jesus spoke about in yesterday’s gospel are becoming clear and present. In the midst of these encounters comes the ominous words: woe to you. Continue reading