Tares among Wheat
²⁴Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.
²⁵But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.
²⁶But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.
²⁷The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
²⁸And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’
²⁹But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.
³⁰Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”
The Tares Explained
³⁶Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
³⁷And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, ³⁸and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; ³⁹and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.
⁴⁰So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.
⁴¹The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, ⁴²and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
⁴³Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
Jesus always teaches very graphically.
Examples from everyday life. These are clear in themselves, but what is their spiritual lesson? The disciples are here with the question what the meaning of the weeds in the field is (Matthew 13:36).
Jesus has already told that God rules by letting Him sow the Good News (Matthew 13:1-9).
Now He reveals that He is not the only sower. There is also an enemy, the devil, who unnoticed (‘when everyone slept’, Matthew 13:25) sows his seed, the seed of cocklebur.
The deceptive thing about all this is that the difference between the good and the bad seed can only be seen when the seed starts to bear fruit and the roots have already grown together (cf. Matthew 13:29).
The enemy enters silently.
He does it in such a sophisticated way that we don’t notice it.
To what extent are we a plaything of the influences around us?
Let’s keep an eye out for the evil tactics of the devil! He calls darkness light (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:14b). We can only begin to recognize that with a constantly opened Bible.
The landowner’s slaves want to start weeding immediately, but their lord forbids it out of concern for the corn. Many in Israel thought that the coming of the Kingdom of God would coincide with the great world cleansing.
Jesus makes it clear that God’s Kingdom is present in this world, but still next to evil.
By the way: one day there will be a separation, at the harvest (Matthew 13:30,37-43). There is a limit to evil! One day this world will be purged of all evil. What still presents itself as opposition to the Kingdom of God will then have to give way definitively.
Jesus honestly says how everyone will be in the future (Matthew 13:40-43).
Whether or not we share in God’s glory on the day of the harvest, it is decisive that we have not only heard Christ’s word, but also have done it (Matthew 7:21-27).
Life with Jesus now is eternally important!
- How do you learn to discern spiritually? (Compare 1 John 4:1-6.)
- Ask God to open your eyes so that you will recognize every deception
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