Sifted as Wheat

(Luke 22.31) “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you all as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

In olden days, wheat was first threshed, (beaten with a flail) to separate the good grain from the chaff. It was then winnowed, tossed in the air, shaken and tossed again and the breeze would blow away the chaff/debris, so that the grain was separated from the rest of the plant, and ready for use, either for storage, sowing or grinding into flour. The sifting process is a much-needed process for the grain to be any use. It’s interesting in this reading that God ‘allowed’ it.

Devil: Take a letter Miss Deed. Permission has been given at long last for me to ‘SIFT THEM ALL

AS WHEAT’ And I can’t wait to get started!

Secretary: Ready sir:

Devil: Who is first on the hit list?

Secretary: Well first on your list is Judas, keeper of finances, zealot, and acquainted already with the said

authorities.

Devil: And his weaknesses?

Secretary: He’s passionate in his hatred for the Roman occupying force, he helps himself to the

common purse now and then, (Devil laughs) and his loyalty a bit iffy.

Devil: Likes money does he? Ideal material for a traitor! What else have we got on him?

Secretary; He’s a bit of a loner, an outsider, says what he thinks, doesn’t always consult the others,

and he’s inward looking.

Devil: Mmmm being a loner means destructive thoughts and emotions! He’ll be too ashamed to

go back to the others. With no support failure will paralyse him! He’s in the bag! Who else?

Secretary: Simon Peter.

Devil: Ha! The right hand man! The ‘rock’! Now, how do we smash him?

Secretary; This one may be a little more difficult to destroy, sir. He’s loyal, intuitive and dedicated to

his master and quite promising as a leader of men.

Devil: I didn’t ask you for strengths, I asked for weaknesses...( and yet he has further to fall than

than the others.)

Secretary: Weaknesses? He acts on impulse, speaks without thinking sometimes, he is boastful and

proud and has a strong instinct for survival. He’s quite courageous... when he is focussed!

Devil: Then we must break his spirit, knock him off his perch. Unfocus him. Make him deeply

ashamed of himself. That should be enough to crush him! I know, we’ll allow him to follow

his master so far and then we’ll spring the trap. Find me a simple serving girl, and two

others...oh and we’ll need a cockerel, for extra effect. Failure will paralyse this one too!

Secretary: And what about all the others sir?

Devil: Sheep without a shepherd will scatter. Let them wake up in the olive grove to chaos and

lots of noise, that should confuse them! Then we’re rid of all of them! The way will be

clear for the Great Plan to be put into effect!

Secretary; Congratulations sir! Will that be all?

Devil: For the time being yes! Get me a ring side seat. I am going to enjoy this!