February 26, 2021
Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch" (Matthew 15:12-14).
Hypocrites will always be offended by the truth. Truth becomes a stumbling block to their agenda. That’s the first reality of hypocrisy. The second reality is that hypocrites will be judged for their hypocrisy. Jesus used a very simple and brief parable to emphasize God’s attitude toward those who manipulate His truth for their purposes.
As a teenager in Dos Palos, I was familiar with the practice of ‘chopping cotton’, which really is a misnomer. When farmers ‘chop cotton’ they are not chopping cotton per se. They do thin out excess cotton plants, but primarily they are chopping weeds that are growing up in the cotton fields. Those weeds can be anything: Morning glory, Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, Nutgrass, Goat’s head, etc.; anything that is growing in the cotton field that the farmer did not plant.
The reason for ‘chopping cotton’ is to rid the field of plants that take water and nutrients away from the cotton plants. If this is not done, the weeds will overtake and kill the cotton plants, thus diminishing the harvest.
The Winton-Atwater area is farming area. We are familiar with the truths Jesus embeds in His parables, especially when those parables are of a farming nature. So, when Jesus said Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted, we know what He means.
In this parable the ‘weeds’ that will eventually be ‘chopped’ are the Scribes and Pharisees and hypocrites that grow alongside the ‘cotton’ (the citizens of the Kingdom; Christians). God allows them to grow together (hence The Parable of the Weeds; Matthew 13:37-43). At the end of the age, these false preachers and teachers and religionists will be condemned to the Lake of Fire.
Hypocrisy ‘overgrows’ and ‘strangles’ the truth. It covers the truth with lies so that truth is no longer discernable - no one knows what the truth is anymore. What do we do? (2 Timothy 4:3-5) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. That’s what we do.
“Lord Jesus, we know the days of rampant hypocrisy are upon us, and have been upon us for several generations. It seems nothing can stop the tide of turning truth into a lie and accepting the lie over the truth. Help us, Lord, to sniff out and expose the lies while remaining firmly rooted in Your truth. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”