Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Mt 13:24-30, 13:36-43
Jesus spoke this parable to the multitudes; He explained it to His disciples:

– The devil is at work within the world and the Church, with the full knowledge and under the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ.
– false prophets and teachers (2Pt 2:1-2; Jude 4; Rev 2:20-22)
– a deliberate activity by an enemy to sow bad seed among the good
– God is allowing it, and it will continue till the end/harvest
all churches have wheat and tares within them
– the bad seed gets sown while men sleep – both naturally and spiritually (Mk 4:27)

– In this parable, there are two sowers:  Jesus, the Son of Man; and the devil
–the good seed are the sons of the kingdom; the bad seed are the sons of the wicked one (Gen 3:15)
– wisdom from above is peaceable
– wisdom from below brings confusion and every evil thing (Ja 3:16)
– Wheat and tares (weeds; darnel) look alike while growing to maturity!  Only at the end, by their fruit – can they  be clearly and definitely distinguished.  During the growing process, Jesus allows them to grow in the same field.

How should this speak to us in our own congregation?
–We should not seek the approval of men over that of the Lord. What if those ‘men’ are tares?
–The measure of our life – our actions, words, character – is Jesus Christ, the Word of God.
–Some immature believers, who are demonstrating their immaturity, may actually be wheat. We are called to be patient as we relate to and work with others, and help bring them along to full growth.

– We probably can not prevent tares from having influence.
– Consider Judas Ishcariot, and how Jesus related to him among the other disciples, and their own evaluation of him along with themselves when Jesus said that one of the apostles would betray Him.

–From the parable we learn the need to be discerning, but to wait for the Lord’s timing to deal with separating the good from the bad within a local congregation, in particular, and ultimately from His Kingdom in general.

After God’s righteous judgment – which will be seen to be just (because the fruit will be known by all) – then will the righteous shine as the sun in the Kingdom of the Father.  The Kingdom, and the manifestation of the sons of God in not realized or fulfilled until the coming again of the Lord and the First Resurrection and the ‘rapture’.

Once again, the Lord Jesus places the responsibility on each of those who hear the word:  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

This is part four in a seven-part series of articles on the parables in Matthew 13.

Part 1: Parables, and the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven

Part 2: Mystery of Lawlessness/Iniquity

Part 3: Parable of the Sower and the Seed

This article originaly appeared on Streams in the Negev, August 28, 2010, and reposted with permission.