Interpretation of Mat 13:28


If God is almighty, why does the enemy has such an authority to putting the sons of devil in the world? Did God give an authority to the devil?
What’s your interpretation of this verse?



God did not give authority to the devil to do evil in the world. However, He permits the devil to do evil. But giving permission does not mean giving authority. To give the devil authority would mean giving him the right to do evil in the world. The devil has no such right and God did not give him the right to do evil. However, God allows him to do what he has no right to do. God allows him to cause suffering and tempt us because God wants to know if we would remain faithful to Him in spite of the sufferings. In this world we are being tested to see how much we love Him.



We find in Matthew 4:9, that the devil said to Jesus, “All these (kingdoms of the world) I will bestow on you if you prostrate yourself in homage before me.”

It seems the devil does have dominion over all the earth, to the extent that God permits it. But God is sovereign over all, and brings good out of evil, so we can always trust Him, for even the hairs of our head are numbered.

As far as the weeds being mingled with the wheat, the reason Jesus said to let them grow together, is that there is so little difference between the two that one may mistake a good plant for a weed. There are photos on the internet of both darnel and wheat, so you can see the difference. A person would have difficulty distinguishing which is the good plant, and might uproot it by mistake. It is said that one cannot tell the difference until it is fully grown.



So the devil has such a power, the world is under control and dominated by him? However the almighty God watching christians get ate by lions in Roman colosseum, or get tortured then killed throughout history? Even, in the current generation, some non christian people being the sandbags of the devil etc though.



Your question can be understood in two ways: either (a) How many different interpretations of this verse are possible? or (b) Which of these interpretations does the Catholic Church teach as its doctrine?

Question (b) is easily answered – you’ll find it in CCC 827. But if you mean (a), that would take longer.

827. "Christ, ‘holy, innocent, and undefiled,’ knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. the Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal."299 All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners.300 In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time.301 Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ’s salvation but still on the way to holiness:

The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.[302]




For example John 14:30 says that the devil is the prince (or ruler) of this world. Or 1 John 5:19 says the whole world lies under the control of the wicked one. So therefore some churches say all governments are under the devil’s control, so we should not vote or fight in wars, etc.



So, according to CCC, the field mean the heart of people, the wheat is the Gospel and the weeds are sins? Interesting interpretation, but, isn’t it ignoring the 13:37-39?



Yes, unfortunately the devil is very powerful. And yes, God was watching when the lions devoured the Christians in the Roman Colosseum. But, as St. Augustine said, God would not permit this evil unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to derive good even out of evil. And it is true. For, had the early Christians not been persecuted by the Romans, we would not see the glory of martyrdom. Actually, the martyrdom of the Christians was also the catalyst that contributed to the growth and spread of the infant church, because the more Christians were persecuted, the more pagans were converted to Christianity. Thus, Tertullian said that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of Christianity.

The field is the world of man or the heart of the people, as you said. The wheat (the good seed) is the gospel, or those who listen to the gospel (the sons of the kingdom), and the weeds are sin, or the sinners. I don’t think that Matt 13:37-39 was ignored, but the interpretation was stated slightly differently. Note, too, that the good seed was equated by Christ Himself to the gospel (Matt 13:19) in the Parable of the Sower, and He likened those who listen to the gospel with those who receive the seed in good ground.


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