Matthew 13:24-25. “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was spruing up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.”
Tares are weeds that look just like wheat except they have a black grain that appears on them. There is a LOT of interesting information online about tares. If I spent as much time as I’d like to studying out all the details about these simple parables, I’d never get much else accomplished!
We learned earlier that the parable of the sower represented the church at Ephesus, the apostolic age, and the beginning with its failure–leaving the first love.
The second parabe of the evil seed represents the church in Smyrna, meaning bitterness. The enemy is revealed here, and it is clear that the enemy was stealthy in his activities.
I’ve written before about my experiences in gardening. One learns very quickly that the weeds seem to look exactly like whatever plant they are choking out. I think it is impossible for us to be too careful in examining those who come among us claiming to be sowing good seed. If they are legitimately doing God’s work, then they will not be offended when asked why they are doing something in a certain way, or teaching a Bible passage in a particular manner. It is the humble shepherds in our churches who do not react in anger when someone in the congregation raises a question, especially when that individual is doing so with a pure heart and a good motive. It’s not usually too hard to identify those who are simply sowing seeds of discord with the purpose of dividing the flock.
I have nothing but respect for any leader, whether it is a pastor, teacher, deacon, or lay leader, who responds with humility and sincerity when he is questioned. We are all susceptible to error, and we should never assume that because we’re in leadership no one should ever approach us to correct us.
Well, I’ve rambled a bit tonight. Next time we’ll see what happens when the man’s servants asked him if they should go and uproot the tares. It’s a fascinating parable for all of us in our churches today as we strive to teach and preach the Bible, and only the Bible.