Tares among Wheat

“Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. “The 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?’ “And 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?’ “But he *said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. ‘Allow 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. Then 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.” And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and 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; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. “So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:24-30; 37-43)

Last week we explored the Parable of the Sower and learned that not all respond to the Word of God in the same way. There are those who care not to receive the words from God and will not allow them to penetrate into their minds and hearts where God would cause them to grow and blossom for the Kingdom. Others receive them and know that His Word is truth but allow their desire for the things of this world to hinder its growth and soon the evil one takes that Word away from them. Then there are those who know that their lives are broken and their spirits are impoverished and need His truth to mend their broken lives. They receive and believe and the mysteries of the Kingdom are revealed unto them.

Today we are looking at the Parable of the Wheat and Tares found in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 13. Jesus again is teaching the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. Principles that relate to the rule of God and revealed in the Person of His Son, Jesus. As with the Parable of the Sower Jesus explains the meaning to His disciples in verses 37-43 and we will focus on His explanation.

Jesus first identifies the objects of the Parable to His listeners. First He states that the sower of the word of God is the Son of man in verse 37. His identity is made known in the Prophecy of Daniel in Daniel Chapter 7:13-14. It is to God’s Son Jesus that the Lord almighty has given the everlasting Kingdom. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:14) It is the Father the Ancient of Days who gives the authority because He was Faithful and True to the will of the Father. “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:21)

In verse 38 the field is the world what the Son of man came to sow the seed and the world which now the Son of man now exercises His authority as the King of kings. “Who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” (1 Peter 3:22) Also in verse 38 the good seed is the sons of the Kingdom who have gladly chosen Jesus as their Lord and King and freely submit to His rule. These are the disciples of Jesus, today the Christian Church, who observe all of His commands as a result of their love for Him. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

We see some differences here between this Parable and the Parable of the Sower. In the Sower the disciples were the good soil that had received the seed which was the Word of God. Here the seed is the sons of the Kingdom who have chosen to live by the Word of Jesus. Hear we learn that when one receive the Word they become the good seed, the sons of the Kingdom.

In verse 38 we also learn that the tares are the sons of the wicked one, those who will not submit to the authority of Jesus as Lord of their life. Later in the text we see that the sons of the wicked ones are the ones who offend and practice lawlessness. These actions of theirs prove that they are the sons of the wicked ones. The sons of the wicked one are the tares growing amongst the wheat.

In verse 39 we learn that the enemy is Satan who sowed the wicked seeds who are his sons. Satan who had tempted Jesus and failed now tries to destroy the efforts of Jesus to seek and save that which is lost and to enlarge His Kingdom. Also in verse 39 we learn that the harvest will come at the end of the age. For us today we are still in the age of Christ Church where the gospel of His kingdom is still being preached to all nations of the earth. Those who receive the gospel message can become the sons of the Kingdom. When they receive Jesus as Lord and Savior they are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to His Kingdom of God’s beloved Son Jesus. “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13) The end of the Church age will come when the Lord takes His Church out to be with Him in the heavens. “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

In verses 39 the reapers are the angels who will accompany Jesus and separate the wicked from the just. “And to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)

Looking at the main points of the Parable we see that the problem of the tares growing amongst the wheat will not be fully addressed until the harvest at the end of the age. (Verse 40) This is done in consideration of the good seed. (Matthew 13:29) Then the tares, the sons of the evil one, those who offend and practice lawlessness will be gathered and tossed into the furnace. (Verses 41- 42)

It is then that the righteous, the good seed, the sons of the Kingdom, will shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. We may wonder why God is so longsuffering to wait and suffer so long with the wicked around His Children. Why does He not come now and judge the sons of the evil one?  It may be a time for the sons of the Kingdom to grow as fully mature wheat. The Apostle Peter indicates this in his letter that God is not wanting any to perish. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

We must be patient and wait upon the Lord. He knows the proper time for everything to happen. As we wait let us be faithful and grow in the sanctification of the Holy Spirit that we may be pleasing and acceptable to our God, our Lord, and our Savior. At the proper time we will have our abundant entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” (2 Peter 1:5-11)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, October 12, 2016

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