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Matthew 13:24-30: Parable of the Wheat and Tares

Posted by adventbiblestudy on January 1, 2012


Matthew 13:24-30 MKJV He put out another parable to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. (25) But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. (26) But when the blade had sprung up and had produced fruit, then the tares also appeared. (27) So the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where have the tares come from? (28) He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and gather them up? (29) But he said, No, lest while you gather up the tares you also root up the wheat with them. (30) Let both grow together until the harvest. And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.

Eli worked along side of his hired hands plowing the field one row at a time behind a yoke of oxen. It was hard tiring work, but at least the weather was cool. It was important to get the field prepared and seeded before the rains came. Plowing would be impossible in wet ground.

Every year plowing produced a new crop of different sized and colored rocks and boulders which were carried to the edge of the field, and stacked to make a sort of fence. This year was no different. Eli and his hired workers took turns carrying rocks and plowing behind the oxen. Eli stood in the field admiring the evenly spaced rows. Tomorrow they would be ready to sow the seeds.

The next day Eli and his workers walked back and forth along the rows dropping seeds at regular intervals. Others behind them kicking dirt over the seeds. It was another long tiring day. At the end of the day Eli gathered the workers, praising God he offered up prayer. “Dear gracious God, we thank you for the wonderful weather you have blessed us with to complete the preparation and planting of our seeds. We have labored these past few days preparing the ground, and laying the seed you provided. Now we place the seeds in your hands Lord. We pray you look upon our efforts and bless them according to your will. Lord God, Creator of all the earth and heavens. You know what the seeds need to grow and prosper. Only you can bring the rain and the sunlight. We ask you Lord to grant us your promises, that each seed will produce a bounty after its own kind. In this we ask in your precious name, Amen.”

Eli paid each worker and thanked them for their time. Now all he had to do is wait, watch over the crops, keep up with removing the weeds, and plan for the harvest.

The early rains were good. A few days of light gentile rain, followed by days of sunshine, as the temperatures rose as expected. After a few weeks the first signs of the bountiful crop began to appear as nothing more than tiny blades of grass. It never ceased to amaze Eli when the first signs of life began to appear. Each plant looked so simple. At a glance they all appeared exactly the same. Under ground each plant sent out a network of roots to hold the plant securely in the ground, and provide moisture and nutrients to the plant above.

As the plants began to grow something became evident. The wheat was not coming up in the rows at the predetermined spacing they were planted. As the plants began to first produce seed heads, many of them appeared to be tares. Eli went out everyday to inspect the crop. Each day it became more and more evident a large percentage of the crop were tares.

A few weeks before the harvest, the workers returned hoping to establish a schedule for the busy event. The growing season was unusually mild, but they knew this was the time for storms known to bring heavy rains. Even from a distance it was easy to see the field was heavily scattered with tares. The workers asked Eli, “, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then where have the tares come from?” Eli answered, “An enemy has done this.” The workers asked him, “do you want us to go and gather them up?”

Pulling the tares would have produced a number of complications. Because they did look similar before the seed heads appeared. There was a risk of pulling out a portion of the immature wheat with the tares. Pulling them by hand would be a difficult, tiring, and time consuming. If they attempted to pull tares by the roots, they would disrupt the root systems of the wheat, reducing their yield. There was also the risk of trampling the wheat, rending it useless. Eli replied, “No, lest while you gather up the tares you also root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.”

As the crop matured the difference between the wheat and tares became more and more evident. Wheat produced much larger seeds. Wheat also matured faster than the tares. The proper time to harvest is indicated when the wheat turns a golden color while the tares remained green. This would make separation much easier, and more efficient.

The field appeared to be a total waste, but leaving the tares would ruin the entire field. If the tares were allowed to mature, and the seeds to germinate, they would produce more tares, which would produce more, and more, until the entire field was covered with nothing but tares. One tare can produce dozens more just like it. There was no other choice but for Eli to hire and pay the workers to gather everything, and later separate the wheat from the tares.

When harvest time arrived, the wheat and tares were gathered together and separated in the field. The wheat was processed and stored in his barns. The tares were piled up and burned so their seeds would never again be able to contaminate the field. Eli stared into the flames, wondering why an enemy would go through such lengths to destroy him and his business. All it did was slow down the process, but not stop it.

Matthew 13:36-43 MKJV Then sending the crowds away, Jesus went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field. (37) He answered and said to them, He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; (38) the field is the world; the good seed are the sons of the kingdom; but the tares are the sons of the evil one. (39) The enemy who sowed them is the Devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (40) Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it shall be in the end of this world. (41) The Son of Man shall send out His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who do iniquity, (42) and shall cast them into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (43) Then the righteous shall shine out like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Once again Jesus was invited to Peter’s home. This time He arrived with all His disciples. Peter’s wife and mother in law were more than happy to see Him. Memories of His previous visits were fresh in their minds. They were more than happy to prepare a meal for Jesus and His disciples, in the crowded little home.

While the meal was being prepared, His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” Jesus looked at them with a hint of disappointment in His eyes, which quickly turned to excitement, after viewing the hunger in their eyes. Jesus had just explained the parable of the sower, and had hoped the lessons had been applied. The patient Teacher began explaining the parable in detail. “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.” The disciples instantly knew Jesus was talking about Himself. He had often referred to Himself as the Son of Man, but where did He get that title from, and why didn’t Jesus use the title of Son of God? Peter could think of only one verse. “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.Psalms 8:4-5.

The disciples waiting in anticipation to hear the interpretation of the remainder of the parable watched Jesus walk near the oven and the women so they could hear better, and said, “the field is the world; the good seed are the sons of the kingdom; but the tares are the sons of the evil one.

The disciples knew the close association between the earth and the field found in scripture, especially in regards to the blessings God provides. “And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. (Ezekiel 34:27 MKJV).

For a moment John was confused. He leaned over to James and asked, “didn’t the seed represent God’s word in the parable of the sower?” James reminded him, “seed also represents people, and their children. “As for Me, this is My covenant with them, says Jehovah; My Spirit that is on you, and My Words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of yourseed’s seed, says Jehovah, from now on and forever.” (Isaiah 59:21 MKJV). John could instantly see the relationship between the seed of the field, which is used to produce more and more seed, and God’s Word when it is taught children, and their children produce fruit in the form of those who follow God. It was now easy to understand how the truth must grow, just as how God had intended it to grow. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring out and bud, and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do. (Isaiah 55:10-11 MKJV)

They could easily understand, if the good seed represents people who follow God, the tares that tried to look like wheat for a time represent people who try to look like they are following God, but really do not serve Him. They all wondered, then who do they serve? They all knew the answer, but waited for Jesus to confirm it.

Jesus looked in the pile of kindling wood for a stick just the right size as He continued to explain the parable. “The enemy who sowed them is the Devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

By identifying the devil as the enemy Jesus triggered a number of thought processes which identified the work of the devil. The devil is the father of lies. A title he lived up to in the garden. Not only lies, but vengeful lies designed around hatred and oppression, meant to send people who spread them into total darkness, like those who have been dead for generations. Lies designed to exalt the liar above the victim. To cast iniquity upon them. Today we refer to it as character assassination.

Satan exalted himself above God. “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:14 KJV). He spoke out against God, the Sanctuary, and His plan of salvation. Satan’s lies included substitutes for each. For love he substituted self indulgence and persecution. His followers learned their craft from their master well. Like the tares, the father of lies has created children in his image. They became fathers, who have taught their children to follow their example. Their children create more children following the same example. Like tares taking over a field and choking out the wheat, Satan is directing his armies to conquer by the use of sheer force. Satan has a hundred lies available to battle one truth. What began as a series of lies in the garden has spread to fulfill his plan to engulf the earth.

The disciples knew the prophet Joel referred to the day of the Lord as the harvest. It was to be a day of destruction from the Almighty when He trusts in His sickle because the harvest is ripe in the valley of decision.

When the harvest is ripe, God will send His angels to gather His elect. “Then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” (Mark 13:27 KJV).

Jesus began stirring the fire with the stick. The flame grew high and the burning wood glowed orange as Jesus finished explaining the parable, “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it shall be in the end of this world. The Son of Man shall send out His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous shall shine out like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The disciples knew the time was close, and there were only two choices, eternal life, or death. They thought of their families and friends. They even thought of past friends, people they had disagreed with, and the possible cost. For a few moments their heart had a gloom about them, wondering what they could do to save wives, children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors. The job seemed insurmountable to them. Then their hearts suddenly grew light. They began to understand the parables, and how the Spirit worked in them to give them understanding. They began to see how the Holy Spirit will bring to mind scriptures and lessons in God’s Word to all those who hear Jesus’ Words.

One Response to “Matthew 13:24-30: Parable of the Wheat and Tares”

  1. […] If you liked this study, you will appreciate an updated version. https://adventbiblestudy.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/matthew-1324-51-parable-of-the-wheat-and-tares/ […]

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