Wheat is a precious crop that provides us with flour for bread. Darnel is a poisonous weed – but it looks so much like wheat that it can be almost impossible to tell them apart. The only way to separate wheat from darnel is to wait until the crops are fully grown. Then it becomes clear.
In today’s parable, a farmer has an enemy who plays a devilish trick, planting darnel among the wheat. The farmer’s servants want to pull up the weeds straight away, but the farmer is wise enough to know that this could damage his precious wheat too. Better to wait for the crops to grow and then separate the wheat from the weeds.
We live in a complicated world where the good and the bad are often mixed up together like wheat and darnel. It can be difficult to make the right choices. In this parable, Jesus teaches us not to jump to conclusions, but to watch and wait patiently. Jesus did not ‘weed out’ those who seemed unsuitable among his disciples, but gave them time to bear fruit. God waits patiently for us, too. He gives us time to learn the wisdom of watching and waiting.