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The Parable of the Weeds

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., June 23, 2019
Part of the The Parables of Jesus series.

This coming Lord’s Day we will take a look at one of the parables from Matthew’s Gospel. You might know this one as ‘The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares.’ It is found in Matthew 13:24-30, and the Lord’s explanation of it in 13:36-43.

We remember that the parables of Jesus are about the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven. And simply defined, this Kingdom is the reign of God though His Son, our Lord! It is a Kingdom that has come to earth in the Person of our Lord and Savior. In Him, the Kingdom was made present! And yet, it is also a Kingdom that is on the way, and one day will be revealed in its fullness for all to see!

We have also learned that these stories were given by our Savior in order that two things might happen. First, that God’s grace in Christ might be revealed to those who believe in His Son (these are the ones who are strangely drawn to the parables of Jesus). And second, that God’s judgment upon unbelievers might be revealed (these are the ones who are repelled by them). And, as we have seen, in this way the parables of Jesus separate and distinguish, for they demonstrate who belongs to Christ and who does not!

And let us also keep in mind that these blessed stories of our Lord were presented in order to confront His audience with truth, divine truth that will both challenge and comfort all who read them! And this will certainly be the case with ‘The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares’!

As we approach the study of this parable, let me ask you a few questions that will set the stage for Sunday’s message:

Do you ever wish that you could just snap your fingers and get rid of all the evil, and evil people, in the world?

Have you ever imagined what it would be like if all the criminals in the whole world were immediately rounded up and sent away somewhere, forever?

Are you ever alarmed, frustrated, or excessively burdened by so much wickedness at work in our world, or even within your own heart?

Do you ever wish that there was something you could do about all of this evil?

If so, then be sure to pay careful attention to this parable and to the wonderful and reassuring things that our Lord will teach us!

Matthew 13:24-43

24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27So 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? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30Let 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. 31Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 33Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. 34All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. 36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (KJV)