[Jesus said] “Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
The Wheat Will Shine Like the Sun
Some animals can shine. This special capability is called bioluminescence. You’ve probably seen it in fireflies on a warm summer night. You may even have seen it in some sea creatures, such as lanternfish, anglerfish, and jellyfish.
No true plants (as far as we know) have natural bioluminescence. That’s why the end of Jesus’ parable about the wheat and the weeds may seem a little strange. All along, he’s been talking in terms of plants: wheat and weeds. He explained that both the wheat represents those who believe in him, and the weeds represent those who do not. Those who do not will be separated from God forever when this world ends. Those who believe, Jesus says, “will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
Where does this “shining” come from? This picture of God’s people shining is one that God has used before. In the book of Daniel, God says, “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:2,3).
In both this passage from Daniel and in Jesus’ parable, God is describing what those who believe in him have to look forward to. On the Last Day, after God has removed “everything that causes sin and all who do evil” from his presence, he will take his people home to heaven. There, set free from all their sins and covered with Jesus’s perfection, they will shine like the sun. This won’t be bioluminescence that they produce. Rather it will be “Christ-luminescence,” since it is through Jesus’ perfect life and innocent death on their behalf that they are now shining.
Wheat normally does not shine. But in heaven, God’s wheat will. By God’s grace, all who believe in Jesus will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father forever.
Lord Jesus, grant that I always trust in you so that by your grace, I may shine with you forever. Amen.