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Mixed-up Seeds!

Children's sermon
Object: 
Two types of similar looking, fast sprouting seeds like wheat and rye. (Optional: container of dirt to plant seeds in.)
“Let both grow together until 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.’ (v. 30)

Hi everyone! (Let them respond) The last time we were here we talked about one of the parables Jesus told the people who had just met him and wanted to become more like him. Do you remember what a parable is? (Let them respond) Yes, it is a story that has a hidden meaning that Jesus wanted the people to understand. Now I want to tell you another parable he told that day. Someone asked him what they should do if they saw someone behaving in a way that was not God-like. Some people said they should throw those bad people out. Other people said they should try to help them. This is the parable Jesus told them:

One day the farmer went back out to plant more seed. But when he pulled a handful of seeds out of his bag, he discovered that he had a problem. Someone had sneaked into his barn and mixed a bunch of weed seeds in the bag with his good seeds. The bad seeds were in the bag with the good seeds, and it was hard to tell them apart. What do you think the farmer did in the parable? (Let them respond) The farmer was pretty smart. Instead of worrying and spending all the time to try to pick-out the bad seeds and throw them away, the farmer just took his handful of seeds and started tossing them out on the good soil. He planted the bad seeds with the good seeds and went back to do the other important things the farmer needed to do for his farm and family.

And then what do you think happened? (Let them respond) As the seeds sprouted and the plants grew, the good seeds grew and were filled with grain. The bad seeds grew too, but they didn’t have any grain on them. So, when it was time to go out and pick the good grain, it was easy for the farmer to find the plants that came from the bad seed, and chop them down and throw them away. Then he picked the good grain and put it in the bins to keep.

The people had asked Jesus what they should do if they saw someone behaving in a way that was not God-like, and Jesus told them this parable. What do you think the hidden message was that Jesus wanted them to understand? (Let them respond) I think Jesus was telling them that they didn’t need to spend their time worrying about trying to catch people behaving badly. And if they saw someone behaving badly, they didn’t need to kick them out, or treat those people like they were weeds in the field and try to get rid of them. What they needed to do was keep growing their own faith and live their lives doing the things God wanted them to do. Then, as we all grow, it will be easy for God to see the differences between the plants from the good seeds and the bad seeds. And that’s when God will do what needs to be done.

Sometimes we get all worried and upset when we see someone who doesn’t behave the way we think they ought to behave, don’t we? (Let them respond) And, sometimes, we want to do something to them because we think they are a bad seed in our field. But God knows what belongs and what does not belong, so we should let God take care of it. Our job is to grow our faith, take care of each other, be nice, help others, and let God handle the rest.
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