“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 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”—Matthew 13:24-30.
This article is the beginning of a series of critical study and analysis of the parables of our Lord Jesus Christ concerning the kingdom of God. The truths wrapped up in these parables are so profound to the salvation of mankind. And this is why we must critically analyse the interpretations of these parables for our edification.
The opening text presents to us one of the most profound parables the Lord Jesus tells us about the kingdom of God. This parable like other parables of the Lord concerning the kingdom comes as a simile. And below is the Lord’s interpretation of this parable.
The Meaning of The Parable of The Wheat And Tares
As we analyse the Lord’s interpretation of this particular parable, we’ll be taking one verse after another from Matthew 13:36-43.
“Then 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”
This verse tells us that after Jesus sent away the multitude, his disciples came unto him to seek clarification or interpretation. This tells us that if we must get the right interpretation of the Lord’s parables, we must ask the Lord for the interpretation.
And fortunately for us, this parable as well as some others, already has the interpretation written in the scripture for us. Then for those without direct interpretation in scripture, we must continue from where the disciples of the bible time stopped; and ask the Lord for the interpretations through the Holy Ghost in us.
“He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man”.
In this verse, the Lord says the man that sowed the good seed he mentioned in the parable, is the Son of man. That is, himself—Jesus Christ.
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares the children of the wicked one”
Here the Lord reveals to us the meaning of the field he used in this parable as the world—the entire world, comprising of all people, and nations of this world. Then he also tells us that the good seed sown by the good sower—Jesus Christ—are the children of the kingdom. That is, the children of the Kingdom of God—the true believers, serving God in spirit and truth. That is, those living by the precepts of the kingdom of God.
While the tares are the children of the wicked one. And of course, you can recognize them by their evil lifestyle. They belong to different religions. Some of them are even in the Church. Some hold notable positions in churches. But however, their actions show they are the children of the wicked one.
“The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels”.
This verse names the enemy that sows the tares (the children of the wicked one) and that enemy, is God’s arch-enemy, the devil. And of course, he also has servants that help him with the sowing—his demons. Then the Lord says the harvest is the end of the world. Scripturally, that should be at the great white throne judgement (See Revelation 20:11-15). Then the verse says the reapers are the angels. So at the harvest, the angels of God will be the ones doing the separation of the wheat from the tares.
“As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world”
The Lord says here, that as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire in his imagery or allegory, so shall it be in the end of this world.
“The 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”
Here the Lord says he shall send out his angels and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. The question that will come to your mind will be, why is Jesus talking about gathering those that offend out of his kingdom?
Why not gathering them out of the world to be consistent with his interpretation of the field as the world? The answer to that question is that at the end of this world, the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of God and his Christ. There will be no other kingdom or world except the kingdom of God (See Revelation 11:15)
“And shall cast them out into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth”
Here the Lord says the wicked ones, including the devil, his agents and his evil children—the workers of iniquity—shall be thrown into a furnace of fire—the lake of fire. So those who argue that God cannot throw people into a literal lake of fire should see this and reconsider.
“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Finally, this last verse of Jesus’s Interpretation says the wheat—the good seed, the children of the kingdom will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (God Almighty). In other words, they will enjoy eternal glory in the kingdom of God. Then he finalizes by saying, he who has ears to hear let him hear. Hearing here, talks about spiritual hearing with our hearts or spirits. And I pray the Lord implant deeply the interpretation of this great parable in your heart in the might name of Jesus!
Coming up next in part 2 of this series is “The Parable of the Leaven”.