THE WINNOWING FORK METHOD
John the Baptist started early in his gospel message to say that Jesus was coming “with his winnowing fork in his hand.” (Matthew 3; Luke 3) This is clearly a mysterious line of scripture unless we are acquainted with the early farming culture in which it was written. The winnowing fork is a farm implement for separating the wheat from the chaff (heads of wheat from husks of the wheat). Or, to separate the edible part of the wheat from the husks that are to be discarded. It is the process of separating and choosing the usable and good from the worthless and unusable by using a winnowing fork to lift wheat into the air, allowing the wind to blow away the chaff from the wheat. The winnowing fork is a picture of judgment or separation.
When we see the complete text we see it is clearly decision time: “He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” (Matthew 3:12 NLT)
Perhaps this is a very good way to make decisions and to process issues: To toss our ideas into the air and separate the usable from the unusable, to sort out what to keep and what to throw away. Keep what we should keep and burn what we should burn. It is The Winnowing Fork Method.
“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.” (The Message Translation) Jesus