Yesterday, Christine Ruth tackled the parable of The Weeds. She brought some great insight to it. What I find interesting in the parables is how your first impression isn't always the right impression. As with the weeds, the first impression is that it's a parable of judgment. But in reality it's a parable about NOT judging. Religious people love to judge and Jesus says, "Leave that to me. Let 'em be." Ooooohhhhh...but judging is SO MUCH FUN...especially when you KNOW that you have the truth...that YOU are right and everyone else is wrong!!! I mean, that's the dream of every insecure person, isn't it...to finally be in the place of power and look down on OTHERS instead of them having them look down on you?
Sorry for the dripping sarcasm but their is a lot of psychology that comes into play regarding why people turn to God/religion. I've done enough study/teaching on shame issues to know that our brain is constantly looking for affirmation and we will do whatever we can - no matter how dysfunctional - to feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately people use God/religion to boost their ego. But Jesus tells us that it's not our job to judge who's "in" and who's "out" with God. There are better ways to feel good about yourself.
It reminds me of my ordination interview. I was asked the age old question..."Tell us what will happen to the tribal chief who has never heard about Jesus." The "right" answer is that without Jesus he is eterally lost. But I said, "I have no idea. But I trust that God does and he will be perfectly just." That unsettled my interviewers but I think that's precisely what Jesus was getting at in the parable of The Weeds. He didn't want religious people sitting around making judgments about things that were none of their business.
You can listen or read Christine's message here.