At the end of the parable, of course, the harvesters collect the weeds and tie them together to be burned, and the wheat is put into the barn.
The distinction is quite obvious to the harvesters. But note that the slaves are instructed not to try and pull the weeds out themselves.
Perhaps there is a message in there that we are not try and determine who is "good" and who is "evil". God is the only one that can, and He allows them to remain until He comes again.
As I reflected on that, I realized that we constantly try and label people as "good" or "evil" ... "right" or "wrong". But how often do we really know? How often do people change? How often should we be holding up a mirror instead?
It reminded me of the Cookie Thief Poem, attributed to Valerie Cox:
A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene.
She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gutsy “cookie thief” diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I’d blacken his eye!”
With each cookie she took, he took one too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he’d do.
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, “Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he’s also rude,
Why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!”
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look back at the “thieving ingrate.”
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise.
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!
“If mine are here,” she moaned with despair,
“Then the others were his and he tried to share!”
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!
Hmmm ... all of a sudden I am hungry for some cookies.
(Remember, no judging me!)
God Bless you.