Matthew 13:26-30. “But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay: lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
For Jesus’ explanation of this parable, we drop down a few verses to Matthew 13:36. Here’s the breakdown:
He that sowed the good seed is the Son of man (Jesus Himself).
The field is the word, not Israel and not the church!
The good seed represent the children of the kingdom, true believers.
The tares are the children of the wicked one, the enemy, who is the devil; this does not mean they are demons, but that they are weeds that take on the appearance of the real wheat; in other words, people who profess Christ but are not indeed Christians.
The enemy is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the world.
The reapers are the angels.
We’ll look at these verses more carefully in a week or two, when we reach that point in our study of Matthew.
Just a few observations and we’ll be done for today. The good seed were those who took the gospel to the world, and produced others who did the same. Good sees continues to reproduce itself.
So does the bad seed. Satan works under the cover of darkness. According to one of my resources, it was a vindictive but not unheard-of practice to sabotage a hated neighbor’s crop by secretly scattering bad seed (tares, darnel) into the newly planted fields. It’s roughly similar to putting sugar in someone else’s gas tank, I guess.
The problem for the owner of the field that had been corrupted was that it was often very difficult to tell the good from the bad. So when this owner was approached by his workers, who asked if they should pull out the tares, the response was to wait until the harvest. At that point, it would be far more clear which was good and which was evil. Then, the evil would be bundled and burned and the good would be stored in the barn.
Pulling out the tares too soon could have resulted in pulling up some of the good plants, as well. What can we learn here, for our own practical use? Discernment, I think. Sometimes we really believe we know it all, and then perhaps we throw out the baby with the bath water! Sometimes we need to leave it in God’s hands. He knows the evil from the good, because He is the One Who can discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.