Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 
 
 

The Wheat And Weeds





  PART I: THE PATTERN PARABLES

                        CHAPTER 2   THE WHEAT AND WEEDS

 
                              Introduction

              Jesus  explained  the  meaning  of  this parable and The
         Parable  of the Soils.  By examining these two parables along
         with  Jesus' interpretations, we can see how to interpret the
         other  parables of Jesus.

            The Parable of  the Wheat and Weeds is   sometimes  called
         the Parable of the Tares. It is also classified as one of the
         Parables of the  Kingdom.    It  is  found  only  in  Matthew
         13:24-30; 36-43.
 

The Story
                        Jesus  told  them  another  parable:
                   "The kingdom of heaven is like a man  who
                   sowed good seed in  his field.  But while
                   everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and
                   sowed  weeds  among  the  wheat, and went
                   away.  When the wheat sprouted and formed
                   heads, then the weeds also appeared.

                        "The owner's servants  came  to  him
                   and said, `Sir, didn't  you sow good seed
                   in your field?  Where then  did the weeds
                   come from?'

                        "`An enemy did  this,'  he  replied.
                   "The servants asked him, `Do you want  us
                   to  go and pull them up?'

                        "`No,' he  answered,  `because while
                   you are pulling the weeds, you  may  root
                   up  the  wheat  with them.  Let both grow
                   together until the harvest.  At that time
                   I will tell the harvesters: First collect
                   the weeds and tie  them  in bundles to be
                   burned;   then gather the wheat and bring
                   it into my barn.'" (Matthew 13:24-30, New

                   International Version).

              Jesus tells  a simple story  of  a  farmer  who  planted
         wheat in his field.  During the night, his enemy deliberately
         "oversowed"  his wheat  with darnel (tares),  a kind  of weed
         that looks like wheat when it first comes up.  When the wheat
         began to head out, the weeds became apparent.   The  farmer's
         servants  asked,  "Then do you want us to go and gather  them
         [the weeds]"? (Matthew 13:28, Revised Standard  Version).  He
         told  his  servants  to  wait until the harvest  and he would
         have the reapers to gather the weeds first and bundle them to
         be  burned.  Then his reapers would gather the wheat into his
         barn.

 

See G. Campbell Morgan, D.D., THE PARABLES AND METAPHORS OF OUR LORD (Old  Tappan,  NJ:  Fleming  H.  Revell  Company,  1943), pp. 49-54, for  a thorough treatment  of this parable,  that  he calls "The Darnel."
             The Interpretation
                        Then he left the crowd and went into
                   the house.  His disciples came to him and
                   said, "Explain to us the parable  of  the
                   weeds in the field."

                        He answered, "The one who  sowed the
                   good seed is the Son of Man. The field is
                   the world, and the good seeds stands  for
                   the  sons  of the kingdom.  The weeds are
                   the  sons of the evil one, and the  enemy
                   who sows  them is the devil.  The harvest
                   is the end of the age, and the harvesters
                   are angels.

                        "As the  weeds  are  pulled  up  and
                   burned  in the fire, so it will be at the
                   end of  the age.  The  Son  of  Man  will
                   send  out  his angels, and they will weed
                   out of his kingdom everything that causes
                   sin and all who do evil.  They will throw
                   them  into the fiery furnace, where there
                   will  be  weeping  and gnashing of teeth.
                   Then  the  righteous will shine like  the
                   sun in the  kingdom  of their Father.  He
                   who has  ears,  let  him  hear.  (Matthew  13:36-43,
                   New International Version). 

              After  Jesus went  to the  house where  he was  staying,
         his  disciples  asked him to explain the parable.  The
         characters in the  story and the real  persons  that  they
         represent are as follows:

              1. Sower of good seed        Son of Man (Jesus himself)
              2. Sower of weeds              the devil
              3. Servants of farmer          mature Christians
              4. Good seeds                   sons of the Kingdom
              5. Field                             the world
              6. Weeds                           sons of the devil
              7. Reapers                         angels
              8. Harvest                         close of the age.

              The phrase "Son of man" is a title of the Messiah.    It
         emphasizes  Jesus'  humanity.  He is also  called "The Son of
         God" in the scriptures.  It is interesting to note that Jesus
         used  a particular name  of Satan here.   The word translated
         "devil" is DIABOLOS,  which means  "accuser   or  slanderer."
         [W.  E.  Vine, VINE'S  EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF NEW TESTAMENT
         WORDS. Unabridged ed.  (McLean, VA: MacDonald Publishing Co.,
         n.d.), s.v., "Devil, Devilish"].
              Here is a diagram of the dual dynamic:

           JESUS -->  WORD   OF   GOD -->  CHILDREN OF GOD

           DEVIL -->  WORD SUBSTITUTE -->  CHILDREN OF THE EVIL ONE

              The phrase, "sons of the Kingdom," is  a  Hebraism  that
         refers to "those who partake of the nature of the Kingdom [of
         God]," that is, those who partake of the  nature of God.

              Likewise,  "sons  of  the  wicked one,"  means those who
         partake of the  nature  of  the  Liar  or  Slanderer,  Satan.
         These  are  liars  or hypocrites who look like Christians but
         are not.

              Both Jesus and Satan are  busy sowing.  Jesus is  sowing
         the Word of God.  Satan is sowing substitutes for the Word of
         God.  Jesus is producing human offspring having the nature of
         God.  Satan is producing human offspring having the nature of
         himself.  Society is becoming more polarized.

              Christians are forbidden to try to  destroy unbelievers.
         I believe that  this means   that  Christians  are    not  to
         antagonize  unbelievers  in    any  way.    It means that the
         so-called "holy wars" of the  institutional    church    were
         wrong.  Attempting to do the work of God with the arm  of the
         flesh is wrong. "Conversion with the sword" is wrong and also
         impossible:

                        ONE CONVINCED AGAINST HIS WILL
                          REMAINS UNCONVINCED STILL.

              When some Samaritans rejected Jesus, James and John were
         ready to destroy them:

                        As the time approached for him to be
                   taken  up  to heaven Jesus resolutely set
                   out  for  Jerusalem.      And   he   sent
                   messengers  on  ahead,  who  went  into a
                   Samaritan village to get things ready for
                   him; but the people there did not welcome
                   him,   because   he   was   heading   for
                   Jerusalem.   When the disciples James and
                   John saw this, they asked "Lord,  do  you
                   want  us to call fire down from heaven to
                   destroy them?"    But  Jesus  turned  and
                   rebuked  them.  [And he said, "You do not
                   know what kind of spirit you are of,  for
                   the  Son  of  Man did not come to destroy
                   men's lives, but to save them."] And they
                   went  to another village.  (Luke 9:51-56,
                   New International Version). 
 

              Jesus'  teaching  here and elsewhere is that it is God's
         will that the "sons of the  wicked one" become the  "sons  of
         the  Kingdom."   If believers uproot them now, they may never
         become believers.  Unfortunately, some true believers   would
         also become uprooted.
 

              At the end of this age, the Lord will commission  angels
         to remove the incorrigible, hardened, wicked people and place
         them in God's prison.  The angels will also  usher  believers
         into  God's   presence, where they will be forever with their
         Lord.

                Please note that  this parable has nothing to  do with
         local church discipline.  The church is to correct  believers
         who get out of line.

                          Central Truth

              WE ARE NOT TO HAVE A  CONDEMNING  ATTITUDE  TOWARDS  UN-
         BELIEVERS,  OR  ATTEMPT TO HARM THEM IN ANY WAY.  (IMPLIED IN
         THIS PARABLE, AND BASED ON OTHER SCRIPTURES, WE ARE  TO  LOVE
         AND DO GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE, INCLUDING UNBELIEVERS).
 

                           Conclusion

              It is important for us as  believers  to  be  about  our
         Father's  business.  We must allow ourselves to be  motivated
         by the same love of God that motivated Jesus.  We  must  have
         his attitude:

                        "For God so loved the world that  he
                   gave  his  one and only Son, that whoever
                   believes in him shall not perish  but
                   have  eternal life.  For God did not send
                   his Son into the  world  to  condemn
                   the  world, but to save the world through
                   him."  (John 3:16-17,  New  International Version). 

              Then we must put this love into action,   especially  in
         sowing  the good seed of God's Word and winning people to God
         through Christ. END