“ …..While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds”
weed: “A herbaceous plant not valued for use or beauty, growing wild and rank, and regarded as cumbering the ground or hindering the growth of superior vegetation… Applied to a shrub or tree, especially to a large tree, on account of its abundance in a district… An unprofitable, troublesome, or noxious growth.”
-The New shorter Oxford English dictionary on historical principles
It seems that this definition raises a little trouble in Jesus’s Parable 🙂 The plant mentioned as a weed in the story was only a weed to one of the parties. To the owner of the field, the one who sowed wheat, it was a weed; yet to his “enemy” it was the most useful of plants as it served his purpose admirably.The weed was a superior plant to Wheat for the purpose of aggravating the wheat farmer. This paradox is also present in the Book of Jonah. Here is the passage:
Then the LORD God provided a gourd plant. And when it grew up over Jonah’s head, giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort, Jonah was greatly delighted with the plant. But the next morning at dawn God provided a worm that attacked the plant, so that it withered. And when the sun arose, God provided a scorching east wind; and the sun beat upon Jonah’s head till he became faint. Then he wished for death, saying, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry over the gourd plant?” Jonah answered, “I have a right to be angry—angry enough to die.” Then the LORD said, “You are concerned over the gourd plant which cost you no effort and which you did not grow; it came up in one night and in one night it perished.
To Jonah that Gourd plant was beneficial as it provided him with shade from the sun. Jonah placed the same value on that gourd that the Wheat farmer placed on the Wheat! To God though it was most definitely a weed. God sent his field hand, the worm, to destroy it. Not only did that plant serve no purpose, it was a hindrance.The gourd gave Jonah the comfort of rest (that is it allowed him to sleep) when God wanted him to WORK ! ! !
-Could it be that the Parable of the Sower contains the same message as the Book of Jonah?