Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
‘You’re not a Christian!’ is an easy accusation to throw around. If someone believes in a different way to us or draws different conclusions about aspects of faith, it’s easy to want to condemn them as not Christian. But we’re warned against this. That doesn’t mean that anything goes—we still have to dialogue with each other about what it means to live as people of God, but this parable reminds us that we are not the ultimate judge.
Some people wish to control who’s in the Church and who’s outside. They want to create a Church that is entirely pure—of course, if we started to do that, the Church would be very empty: for who is worthy but by the grace of God alone? It’s a reminder that none of us sees the full picture; none of us knows the whole truth; none of us sees what’s in another’s heart. Jesus reminds us of this when he teaches in parables. We understand by God’s wisdom alone, not by our own understanding, therefore we’re in no position to clear the Church of weeds. Even the first disciples had to keep asking Jesus to explain what he meant—and that’s okay, we’re seeking to understand day by day. But what’s not okay is using our own understanding to judge others and attempt to build the Church in the way we think best. For only God knows enough to do that—we just respond as people of faith.
Are there ways in which you condemn others because they believe in a different way to you?
God who sees into each heart, help us to love others as you have loved us and teach us to journey together even when we see things differently.
Pray for someone whom you disagree with.