The Wheat and the Tares

Matthew 13:24-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

The Parable of the Tares Explained
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
What is this parable a picture of?
=>This is a picture of the kingdom of heaven and hell in the world

  • The Son of man sows the good seed in the field{world} v37-38
    The sower sows the word. –Mk 4:14
    The good seed produces wheat = sons of the kingdom of heaven v38
    At the end of the age wheat is harvested by angles into the barn v30, 41
  • The devil sows the bad seed in the field while “men” sleep v25,39
    The bad seed produces produces tares = sons of the devil v38
    The Pharisees are an example of the tares = offspring of “vipers” –Mk 3:7
    Beware of the leaven{bad seed} of the Pharisees
    = false teaching –Mt 16:12
    = hypocrisy –Lk 12:1
    At the end of the age tares are harvested by angles and burned  v30, 41
    => all that offends{causes sin} and those who practice lawlessness v41
  • **Matthew 15:12-14 Amplified Bible (AMP) … 12 Then the disciples came and said to Jesus, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard you say this?” 13 He answered, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant will be torn up by the roots. 14 Leave them alone; they are blind guides [leading blind followers]. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

Who can distinguish the wheat from the tares?

  • the servants of the owner of the field v27
  • The mature wheat
  • **Matthew 7:15-16 Amplified Bible (AMP) … 15 “Beware of the false prophets, [teachers] who come to you dressed as sheep [appearing gentle and innocent], but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
    **Hebrews 5:11-14 Amplified Bible (AMP) … 11 Concerning this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull and sluggish in [your spiritual] hearing and disinclined to listen. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a spiritual infant. 14 But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.
  • ** Mark 4:26-28 Amplified Bible (AMP) … 26 Then He said, “The kingdom of God is like a man who throws seed on the ground; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up every day, and [in the meantime] the seed sprouts and grows; how [it does this], he does not know. 28 The earth produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head [of grain], then the mature grain in the head.

=>How determined are you to “mature” – apply the word to your sin – apply the word to teaching you hear?
=>Are you “mature” enough to gently confront sin in brothers or sisters? –Gal 6:1
=>Are you “mature” enough to recognize and confront false teaching?  –Acts 20:27-29
*Pay close attention to your life and doctrine –1Tim 4:16

Word Study
From NetBible Mt 13:25

  • slept[2518] = to yield to sloth and sin, to be indifferent to one’s salvation
  • tares[2515] = a kind of darnel, resembling wheat except the grains are black, false grain
    Tares in bible dictionary = the bearded darnel whose seeds are poison, It bears the closest resemblance to wheat till the ear appears, and only then the difference is discovered. It grows plentifully in Syria and Palestine.
  • wheat[4621] = grain

From NetBible Mt 13:41

  • offends[4625] = any person or thing by which one is (entrapped) drawn into error or sin, stumbling block
  • lawlessness[458] = the condition of being without law, a) because ignorant of it, b) because of violating it



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