Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

Wheat and tares

Matthew 13:24–30 (NLT)
24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
28 “ ‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“ ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
29 “ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’ ”
No one likes to talk about judgment anymore.  We like to focus on the blessings.  We try to forget that there is such a thing as judgment in God’s economy.  When was the last time you heard a preacher preach on Hell as if it was a real possibility?
The parable of the wheat and the tares is another example of a story that Jesus has developed into an allegory.  It appears only in the Gospel according to Matthew.  Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  (v. 24)  The setting is similar to the parable of the sower, but it develops in a different way.  The plot turns sharply with the entrance of an enemy at night, who sows weeds among the wheat.  While this might be something that someone might doo, it cannot be described as typical.
Tares or darnels or weeds translates the Greek word zizinia, a type of weed that looks similar to wheat (or corn in the KJV) in its early stages.  It can only be differentiated when the head appears on the stalk.  Zizinia serves no purpose and is in fact poisonous to humans and domesticated animals, because it harbors a poisonous fungus.
Jesus gives the interpretation of the parable to the disciples in private (vv. 24-32).  Jesus, the Son of Man, is the farmer who sows the seed.  The field is again the world.  The seed represents the people of the Kingdom.  The weeds represent the people who belong to the evil one.  The enemy is the Adversary, the devil.
In the world the Church, the children of the Kingdom, grow up in the middle of the sons of the evil one.  The allegory is about the Church that will arise from Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection.  The Church will be quickly attacked by the devil.  The result will be a Church in which the children of the Kingdom will co-exist with the children of the evil one.  These will look so similar and so closely intertwined that it will be difficult to distinguish them.
Jesus suggests that we should not spend much time trying to purify the church.  Violent efforts at purifying the church are counterproductive in that they could hurt the authentic believers.
Vv. 40-43 provide a clear picture of the final judgment.  The weeds will be pulled up and burned in the fire.  (v. 40)  The angels are the servants of the Lord who will be sent out to weed out the wicked.  The wicked will be thrown into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  (v. 42)  The reference is clearly to the children of the evil one, but v. 41 suggests that the final judgment will be larger and more comprehensive than just the condemnation of sinners.  Jesus declares that everything that causes sin and all who do evil will be judged.  In contrast, the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.  (v. 43).  Jesus places the responsibility on those who hear the message, in other words, on those who are reading these words in the Gospel of Matthew.
It has become fashionable in American Christianity to deny the final judgment.  Our focus on the message of the Bible:  Love for God and love for one another as we love ourselves, has been reduced to sentimentality.  Surely is God is love, then a loving God would not condemn anyone.
If that is the case, then why does God condemn any evil?  If this is the case, then our detractors are correct.  If God does not condemn the wicked, then our God is not just.  If God is not just, then God permits evil either because God is too weak to do anything about it or because God is in fact evil, or a moral monster.
No.  There must be a final judgment in which God judges all evil.  The cries of the martyrs requires justice.  The cries of those who have been harmed by evil requires God to judge the unjust.  The cries of the poor, the oppressed, the widows and orphans, the homeless, and the immigrant require justice in the final judgment.
This is one of the emphases that has been downplayed in America.  Even in popular theology, America is always the good guy.  Why?  Because we realize that this judgment might fall on us.  We have been in the position of the powerful and the oppressor. We are afraid that we might be the ones who are judged for our treatment of the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger – all those whom the Bible calls blessed.  In contrast, the majority world has suffered as a result of colonialism and globalization. They have suffere
God forbid that we fall as “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” (the title of a famous sermon by Jonathon Edwards) God is angry and God’s wrath and justice demand that there be justice in the end.  This is the clear teaching of the parable of the wheat and the tares.  The ultimate
What should our response be?  We should repent and seek God with all our heart.  We should desire to be counted among the children of the Kingdom of God.  The only way to avoid the judgment is believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Only in this way can we escape the judgment of God.

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