Another story is about a farmer who plants wheat. But someone who hates him tries to damage him by planting weeds in his wheat field.
One does not need great wisdom or supernatural insight to realize that good and evil are living side by side. And God will not remove the evil until he finally establishes his Kingdom at the end.
One would suppose that the best thing to do with evil is destroy it as soon as possible. But that’s not God’s plan.
First, God is in the business of redeeming evil. We were all “weeds” at one time. If all the evil were destroyed, we would all be destroyed. And if all the evil were destroyed, there won’t be anyone to redeem. And God’s plan is to redeem as much and as many as possible.
Second, God is in the business of maximizing his glory. Perhaps condemning evil gains some glory. I think redemption produces a whole lot more.
Third, the farmer in the story describes damage to the wheat, if the weeds are pulled. No, I do agree that all people sin and deserve hell for breaking God’s law. But I sorta disagree with Augustine. There are some people are total reprobate. Their whole focus and effort in life is to do evil. Most people try to do good and every once in a while succeed. They contribute to life somewhere. If they were gone, there would be a hole. And the hole would cause problems. Their contribution would be missed.
I suppose Jesus’ main point here is that his kingdom is injected into the world, intended as a contrast to the world, like a picture of a flower growing in a crack in a city sidewalk. To influence the world, it has to rub shoulders with the pushers, prostitutes, thieves and murderers. And it has to rub shoulders with us, who are bad, but not nearly so.
And he was the biggest example of the kingdom, injected and growing in the midst of the world.