NBC Sunday School Manual For July 23, 2023 :Topic – THE WEEDS AMONG THE WHEAT.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month: JESUS ENVISIONS THE KINGDOM.
DATE: SUNDAY, 23RD JULY, 2023.
TOPIC: THE WEEDS AMONG THE WHEAT.
Devotional Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:1-10.
Background Scripture: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.
Lesson Scripture: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.
“Let both grow together until il the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: first collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.” Matthew 13:30.
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Identify things that stand as threat to the kingdom of God and how overcome it.
● Relate the parable to the type of congregation in church today.
● Explain the ultimate outcome of the righteous and how to be righteous.
Competition among business owners can lead to innovations as well as rivalry. Rivalry occurs when competitors resort to the use of forgery of the trademarks of their perceived rivals to market adulterated or substandard products. When such a malicious practice continues undetected, it can adversely sabotage the operations of the original company and bring about court case. The situation could become irredeemable to the point that the company folds up completely. Such was the case of a man whose business of lubricant production attracted nationwide distributors. Unknown to him, a jealous rival forged his trademark and began to produce counterfeit lubricants. Although at the beginning, the business thrived but later, his customers became dissatisfied with his products. After a while, the factory was sealed over allegations of the production of substandard goods. Immediately he acknowledged the fact that his competitor had sabotaged his business interests, and he began to pray for God’s intervention. After months of thorough investigation, the culprit was arrested and arraigned in court. Finally, the Research and Development Department of the company came up with a counter-sabotage strategy while the Marketing Department swung into action to regain the lost consumers’ confidence.
The story above can be likened to Jesus’ parable of the Weeds. The expectation of the Jews was that the coming Messiah will wipe out all evil-doers. He gave the parable of the weeds among the wheat to describe the works of the Devil in destroying the work of God. In other words, while God is working to bring people into His kingdom of light, the Devil who is our archenemy is also working to frustrate God’s good works. However, Jesus concluded that at the end of age (judgment day), all evil-doers will be punished and thrown into the fiery furnace. But God’s people will inherit His kingdom and shine like the sun, till eternity (Daniel 12:3).
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. THE PARABLE OF THE WEEDS:
Jesus told many parables to illustrate the nature of the kingdom of God. In Chapter 13 verse 24, Jesus told them another parable saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.” It should be noted that weeds generally in their early stage of growth have resemblance with wheat. They are unwanted plants, which if left unchecked will cause harm to the crops. It could make crops yield very low. Meanwhile, both the wheat and the weeds grew together to the amazement of the farmer’s servant. “An enemy did it” the master said. He, however, stopped the servant from uprooting the weeds; he resolved that the best time to separate the wheat from the weeds was harvest time. Therefore, he allowed both to grow together until the time of separation when the weeds will be burned and the wheat be stored in a barn.
From time immemorial, the Devil has been a threat to the kingdom of God. He had worked hard to cause confusion and destruction, which the parable in the lesson clearly illustrates. By sowing weeds, which when they germinated looked like wheat was the enemy’s strategy to cause confusion. This could amount to uprooting the real crop alongside the weeds, which could lead to the destruction of the good crops. The servants wondered how the weeds got to the land where the wheat was planted and so, they wanted to remove them so that they do not compete for nutrients with the wheat. Thus they desired an immediate separation in order to save the wheat; nevertheless, the master forbade them. He knew that the wheat could be uprooted prematurely in the course of removing the weeds. This necessitated the instruction of the master to allow both of them to grow together until the time of harvest. Believers should recognise the fact that good people will always live among bad people till the end of the world when God will separate them. While the wicked (sinners) will go to hell, the righteous will inherit the kingdom of God where they will reign eternally with Christ. Even though it seems evil is thriving in our contemporary time, we should not be discouraged because when God’s appointed time comes, He will surely separate evil from good and judge the works of everyone according to their deeds.
1. What does the parable of the wheat and weeds teach us about the prevalence of evil in our society?
2. Discuss some other things that are threats to the kingdom of God and possible ways to overcome them.
B. INTERPRETATION OF THE PARABLE:
It seems Jesus’ disciples did not fully understand the nature of God’s kingdom despite speaking about it, using different analogies. Subsequently, He resolved to spend adequate time with them teaching and explaining the things of the kingdom. Intentionally, the disciples who were listening also demanded to know the meaning of the parable. While explaining to them, Jesus identified seven significant things in the parable and their meanings. He said:
● The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man (Jesus Christ).
● The field is the world.
● The good seed refers to the children of God. ● The weeds represent the sons of the Devil.
● The enemy who sowed the weeds is the Devil (Satan).
● The harvest is the end of the age; and
● The harvesters are God’s angels.
It is obvious from the passage that until the end of age, there will always be contention between the children of light and darkness. The Devil, the archenemy of God and the church, has not relented in his activities of killing, stealing and destroying (John 10:10). However, believers in Christ should be reminded that having faith in Jesus Christ to stand firm is crucial, especially when we know that God will judge everything at the end of age. Christians are, therefore, admonished to persevere in challenging times. Even though it seems evil is thriving, just as the weeds are gathered and burnt by fire, the same thing will happen at the end of age when God will judge all activities under the earth. His children will spend eternity with Jesus while sinners will go to hell.
1. What does the attitude of Jesus’ disciples, in verse 36, teach believers?
2. Discuss some steps Christians can take to avoid being condemned on the day of judgment.
C. GOD’S FINAL JUDGMENT:
Having explained the parable, Jesus gave His final verdict about growth of the wheat and the weeds. He said, “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.” (vv. 40-41) By implication, while the weeds will be thrown into an everlasting torment where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, the righteous will shine as light in the kingdom of their Father. This suggests that even though the weeds and wheat have the same opportunity to grow together on the same soil, they will end up differently.
God’s decision about His plan to judge both the wicked and righteous is clear in the passage. Evil is trieving in the world today. Nevertheless, our joy is that there will be a time of separation just like farmers separate chaffs from seeds. God is not bias; His judgement will be based on our activities on earth, whether good or evil. The challenge is that Christians should be on guard against every strategy of the Devil through strange doctrines, worldliness and other ungodly behaviours that undermine holiness. We should endeavour to work under the power of the Holy Spirit so as to avoid being attracted to the things for which Jesus died because the final outcome of everything will be judged impartially. God will send His angels who will rid His kingdom of everything that causes sin and all who do evil.
1. What does God’s plan to send out His angels who will weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil teach Christians?
2. God is the ultimate Judge of both good and evil. Discuss.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Ask class members to identify groups whose members seem like Christians but are not and identify their features/teachings.
Take Home: State at least three main lessons you are taking home, based on today’s lesson:
● Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment to run away from every appearance of evil.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!