Allegories are powerful tools in passing out great spiritual truth. It is so because they use day-to-day activities to expound spiritual truth in a profound way, making it very easy to comprehend.
The Great Teacher, Jesus the Messiah, used this veritable tool even in a more simplified way to show us how God deals with evil. However, before I move on with this subject, I want to ask: What is evil? Is there anything or any reality that really takes up that word, anyway? Really how can one define it? You try to define it.
But does that mean I am trying to deny its existence? No, I am really affirmative about its reality in our world. The aim of asking is to make you see how very relative you can define this heinous thing. Evil is real, and many people have tried to rather deny its reality, though after trying they are faced with situations that make them also ask rhetorically, Why? Why? Why?
Evil is obviously the deviation, in intent and action, from the good.
It must be objectively defined as a partial or total disregard to an objective good. Every time a person does anything to its own advantage at the cost of his or her neighbor or of another creation, it is evil.
Evil is deviation from purpose.
Purpose is what defines the rightness or the wrongness of an intention or an action (that is, the expression of such intention). Therefore, every time the purpose of a thing is jettisoned, it is evil and the one who objectively defines the purpose of all things is God.
What is the origin of evil and what is God’s side to it? Jesus answered this with a beautiful but powerful allegory.
“There was a man who had a garden, then he planted wheat in the field and went to rest. Then, the enemy came and sow darnel (a weed that looks like wheat) and went away. Then, when the stalk sprouted, and yielded fruit, then the darnel appeared also. So the servants of the land owner having observed this, reported to their master. They said, “Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Why are we seeing darnel in their midst?” “The enemy did this,” he replied. “Then, let us uproot the darnel from amidst them,” they said. But the master replied, “No, children! Don’t do that, lest you uproot the wheat too; you know they look really alike now. Allow both to grow, till the harvest, by the time their true nature will be clear to whoever wants to do the harvesting and it will be easier to separate the darnels from the wheat and bind the darnels to bundles and burn them in fire; and gather up the wheat in the barns.” (Mathew 13: 24-30, paraphrased).
Just like the servants of this good farm owner, humanity, either with religious or atheistic tendency, asks questions: If God is good and powerful, then why should evil exist in creation? Some say, Well, God may have created the world, but like the farm owner, he has gone to sleep and invariably is not in control.
Some say, Maybe he is really not as good or loving or powerful as we learn. Some say, I don’t think he exists anyway.
All these doubts and questions arise because of the pain and grief that evil brings with it and man seems powerless before its demeaning face.
However, have you ever thought about it this way? Whenever the question of evil is raised, it is always for a person or about a person. Man has assumed a status of intrinsic worth, that is why he can challenge or question God because of the reality of evil: but the worth that man claims is what God confers on him after all. It is.
Man asks questions because of the pain and the grief, really. Someone may ask, But why did God let man suffer pain or grief – a product of evil; after all, it is the enemy that came to sow evil in God’s creation? It is as if God is holding man responsible. Yes, that is it, because man is the apex and the overseer of God’s creation on earth, and because of his will power wrongly exercised, the enemy could be able to carry out his destructive intent not in the lower creation but within the entity called man himself. Evil in nature came as a result of the will power wrongly used, we are eating the product of the fruit of disobedience.
The greatest of all evil is not what is observable in things but what is present in beings. The renowned brainy and the smartest man in modern times Albert Einstein, was quoted by Billy Graham as saying: “It is easier to
denature platinum than to denature the evil in the minds of people”.
However, God has a plan. He does not allow what he cannot use. He may let evil to continue for a while because he can use it for a better purpose that eventually glorifies him and enriches our life and experience. Think Lazarus who died and was brought to life. Think Job who lost all and regained all with valuable life lessons. Think the madman of Genasaret that was oppressed by evil and was set free to testify of God’s power over evil. Finally think about you and past experiences. The light is not appreciated without the existence of darkness. Same is truth without the existence of a lie. And so is good without the coexistence of evil. But it is a logical impossibility for the omnipotent to create a stone he cannot lift.
Jesus said this is the wisdom of God: evil shall not be destroyed at its start, but at it its peak. That is God’s way of dealing with evil. Let it grow and at its peak, it shall be totally annihilated, says the Master.
Let the darnel and the wheat grow together; when they mature, the darnel will be judged. Pending the maturity, the enemy will think he has succeeded, but the servants will know the nature of darnel (evil) from the wheat (good).
While the wheat is growing with the darnel, it will suffer pain, struggle for the available nutrient – I mean existence – and the adverse condition in the environment caused by the reality of the darnel. The angels knew evil by observance but man is knowing it by experience and God has also gained the right to totally judge evil on man’s behalf through His Son Jesus Christ, in whom lies our hope.
Jesus was God incarnate. He lived as a man, tempted and tested like us but stay immune to evil. Suffering still came and He won through it. Then and then, He as man won the right to judge the evil one and take dominion back from him who has usurped it.
Finally when evil shall be totally annihilated, only those who have allowed him to remove the evil in their heart will enjoy the perfect state that shall be. All of us are now taking our stand, we are going through our test, but really it is not about trying to do it by ourselves but relying on the completed work of Christ for us. It all begin with a choice. Jesus is waiting for you.
Let the wheat and the darnel keep growing together, separation awaits humanity.